Spring Hope residents said water quality, pressure problems will continue

SPRING HOPE, NC (WNCN) – People in the small town of Spring Hope say they’ve been dealing with brown water and low pressure for more than a month.

“A lot of times, the water is going to be real, dark, so I consider it good,” Kyle Prichard said while holding a glass of dirty water extracted from the kitchen faucet. “We shouldn’t be okay with that, we should have clear water.”

CBS 17 first met Pritchard in June, shortly after the town of Nash County recently experienced four major water breaks. One of the breaks left residents without water for three days.

Once the main water was fixed, Fan Whitley said the town assured him the water was safe.

“We got a call from town that the water was okay and I could drink it,” he said.

But when Whitley opened her spigot in the water, she was disturbed by what she saw.

“This dark brown water came out and I said ‘oh my gosh!’ And to think, I use that and filter that. So I don’t drink water anymore, ”said Whitley, who was born and raised in Spring Hope.

Other residents said their water pressure was still low or smelled like sewage.

“We have people here who are important, and we deserve the attention and help that other places can get,” said Beth Baines who lives in Spring Hope.

Envirolink keeps the waters of Spring Hope. At the town hall meeting last month, the company told residents the water was safe. But some are worried that rotten infrastructure could contaminate it.

George Barnar said his art studio in Spring Hope also has questionable waters.

He explained, “The inside of the building, the pipes are relatively new, the pipes on the street are giving us a problem … Whatever the problem, it needs to be fixed.”

Prichard emailed State Senator Lisa Barnes, who represents Spring Hope.

“Senator Lisa Barnes announced that they have introduced a $ 3.7 million line budget item into the state budget, which, of course, needs to go through approval this fall,” Prichard said. “$ 3.7 million is nice, that’s an impressive achievement. Very, very much appreciate that. But there’s a more critical emergency need.”

When Prichard asked about emergency funding he said, “They replied the next day that they said the DEQ emergency fund had denied us.”

The Water Division of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality said it has not received a request for emergency funding to Spring Hope since 2012.

“We appreciate any piece of funding they will give us to correct this problem and help us,” Whitley said.

A DEQ spokesman said emergency loans are only available for serious public health risks. Because the water in Spring Hope meets EPA drinking standards, the town is not eligible.

“When we look at the initial response about why they didn’t approve funding for the emergency. They’re looking in the wrong direction,” Pritchard said.

He added, “If someone sitting in a Raleigh office making those decisions says‘ it’s not an emergency, ’I ask them to turn off the main water valve in their home within three days and then let me know if it’s an emergency. “

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