Residents near Holly Springs concerned about water quality

April 18, 2012 2:14:44 PM PDT
There's an ongoing water war between some neighborhoods in Wake County and Aqua North Carolina.

At first glance, the water looks clean and clear. However, homeowners said that it's what the water leaves behind that has them worried even though the water company says it's safe.

Fred Decker showed ABC11 the dark film that lined a toilet bowl tank inside his McKenzie subdivision home, near Holly Springs. Decker said his family has been dealing with the residue and other water issues since they moved in five years ago.

"We were afraid to take baths, certainly drink the water, and this has gone on for years," said Decker.

Decker gets his water from a well managed by Aqua North Carolina. The company said they installed iron and manganese filters for a well that serves Decker's subdivision last year.

"It was identified that they were having issues with discolored water and manganese in the water," said Jack Lihvarcik, the operations manager for Aqua North Carolina. "So we installed, at the tune of $275,000, filters for that area."

Since then, Decker said he's seen an improvement but he's still worried about what he's seeing his home filter collect.

Aqua North Carolina said that isn't necessarily unusual, or evidence of a problem.

"No matter what level we have of filtration in our treatment plants, by putting those filters on their spigots, it's going to take it to one additional level," said Lihvarcik.

The company maintains the water is safe to drink.

Sabrina Welker hopes that's true and that the stains she's been seeing building up inside her home aren't going to make her family sick.

"I have children. I'm concerned for what long-term health effects it might have but you're told it's safe and you kind of believe it," said Welker.

Safety concerns aside, both Welker and Decker both feel they're paying too much, for what they're getting

"We're paying two, three times what anyone else pays for water when they buy it from the city and then they constantly want a 10, 20 percent rate increase," said Decker. "What justifies that?"

Aqua North Carolina said the rates they have in place now, are being used to pay for capital improvements they've done in the past.

They maintain their water is safe and they also encourage customers who may have concerns to give them a call.

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