Some Suffolk residents struggle with well water issues


by Arrianee LeBeau, 13News

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 25 at 3:48 PM

SUFFOLK -- Residents of a community off of Wilroy Rd. are worried about their homes being condemned if they can't find a permanent fix to secure their water supply.

Four homes in the area are connected to a community well, with a pump at a host house that supplies water to the three other homes.

In 2012, the power was cut off at the host house, leaving the other homes temporarily without water.

"You never even thought about it because you thought well I have a well agreement, we are covered, but the attorney should have looked at that well agreement and said that's fine. But what if that house burns down, what if they move out?" said Azalea Spruill.

Spruill said residents have been unable to come up with a deal with the well host to make sure something like that doesn't happen again.

In the meantime, neighbors have connected a single electrical line to another neighbor's home to keep the well pump operating, but that's only a temporary fix.

Spruill said she took her concerns to the city, but the city's suggestions were too expensive.

One option is an individual water tap for each home that would cost homeowners $6,620 and would require a private easement with nearby homeowners.

The second option involves asking the city council to appropriate $240,000 to extend a water main to those four properties.

Spruill says she and other residents can't afford the costs associated with those options and they prefer well water. She says they bought their homes because they wanted well water and the city's utility rates are too high and are scheduled to increase.

Residents also considered installing their own wells, but the Spruills can't consider that option.

"The other alternative is to put a well in ourselves but because of the septic tanks and the size of the lots, we can't put in our own well. We can't put it in the front yard because the people in front of us have their septic tanks in the front yard," said Spruill.