Customers ready for the reliability provided in project

Oct. 28, 2013 @ 09:32 PM

The children at Humpty Dumpty Day Care are among the first in line for water from Vance County’s system.

“We’ll be glad to get water,” said Jack Robertson, whose wife Vivian owns the daycare.

A crew from Envirolink, the company tasked with installing and running the water system, arrived at Humpty Dumpty on Monday to install the water meter in the ground that connects the main water line with the line to the house.

The daycare has used well water since it opened.

“That’s a good well and some good water out here, but it does go dry,” Robertson said. “It’s not 100 percent reliable.”

About 20 years ago, their first well ran dry and Robertson had a second well drilled. Recently, the water level in his second well fell low and Robertson drilled down another 100 feet, which cost him $4,500.

He also pays as much as $4,000 per year to have his well tested for contaminants.

In September, the county commissioners voted to approve a $30 base rate and usage rate of .00719 cents per gallon, or $7.19 per 1,000 gallons

An individual’s water bill would be based on the number of gallons used. For example, a residence that used 3,500 gallons a month would be charged $55.16.

The Envirolink crew, as well as Deputy County Manager Jordan McMillen and County Commissioner Archie Taylor Jr., crowded outside Ralph Ellington’s property on Warrenton Road to set his meter.

“We’ve been wanting this for a very long time,” Ellington said Monday.

Since the original well behind his property ran out of water, Ellington said three houses and his farm have connected to his current well.

Frances Ellington, Ralph’s stepmother who lives next door, said she is looking forward to having county water.

“You never know when the well is going to run dry,” she said.

Mike Myers, president of Envirolink, said the county water system would be more dependable than the wells, which are powered with electricity.

“If the power goes out, you still have water,” he said.

Myers said county water is required to undergo a routine sampling process for contaminants.

“It is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the state of North Carolina, so there is a lot more oversight,” he said.

In order to connect to the water system, residents who have paid a deposit will need to fill out a service application, Myers said.

“Once we receive the application, we will alert the county planning department that this customer has been approved for connection to the water system and it is OK to issue plumbing permit,” he said.

At that point, residents can ask the county Planning Department for a $50 plumbing permit that allows a plumber to run the water line between the house and the meter box.

“They have to contact the Planning Department for a date when they can disconnect to the well,” Myers said. “And we will schedule their meter to start the same day they disconnect from well because state law prohibits connection to private system and well at same time.”

McMillen said the county is planning to send a welcome brochure with information this week.


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