Local News

North Raleigh residents worry development could dry them out

Posted October 28, 2014 8:16 p.m. EDT

— Residents in the North Falls subdivision are worried that a new development could dry up their private wells.

“We turn on the faucet, the water comes out,” said Eric Fitzgerald, who lives in the north Raleigh neighborhood. “If it doesn’t, think about how that affects your day to day life.”

The new development would consist of 66 homes with deeper, more powerful high-capacity wells.

But there’s enough water to accommodate both neighborhoods, said Greg Bright, groundwater program supervisor with the Wake County Department of Environmental Services.

“The developer has a right to develop that property, and the state permits those wells,” he said. “It goes through a permitting process with the state to make sure it meets all their standards before its put into use.”

North Falls residents fear they will end up like the Norwood Oaks area, where several private wells dried up in 2010 after commercial wells were installed nearby. Affected homeowners were forced to tap into a utility line.

Private well owners do not pay for water, but those who use a utility line do.

County rules allow for homeowners to ask for help if their water begins to run dry, but they can’t do anything until there’s a problem.

“We can’t pump what’s not there,” Fitzgerald said.