Letter – Fed up with water woes
Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
We live in the former Hardy District of Smithfield, in the Days Point area. We have repeatedly had water facility well failure issues in our area: water turned off, sometimes unaware.
Last year I believe we had four, on and off. One caused the element in our water heater to burn up. We had to repair at our cost. Now we are getting notices in the door.
Recently, since July 18, we wake up to no water and through the afternoon of July 26, we had to boil water. In that period, on July 21, service was restored and again broke at 2 a.m. on July 22. Back to boiling again. We received notice on July 26 that the problem has been corrected.
We understand that problems happen. We understand that this affects under 100 people, but what if it was you? How about elderly, sick or those with babies, small children, pets who were unaware of the notice placed in the door? We had gone to the store and at times there were no large water containers available, then we would make do.
The principle behind all of this is that we pay our taxes and we want the basics of water, like other residents have, not under a cloud of whether our water is safe to drink today.
We are asking for a permanent fix on this, not just patchwork. We have antiquated pipes back here as well that have broken and caused no water also. We ask for an Isle of Wight text message to go out to notify people in our area who are affected, as they do for inclement weather. We want to be made aware ASAP if there is a water problem, not wait for an employee to walk the neighborhood with notices. I am sure that is an expense.
We appreciate the workers who do their job, but this is a problem. We want this addressed and permanently repaired.
I have contacted our county supervisor, Rudolph Jefferson, and I hope he will be our advocate here for his constituents. We look forward to hearing from him about a 2023 progressive solution from Isle of Wight County soon.
Editor’s note: Isle of Wight Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson said the county is aware of the concerns expressed by the Youngers and working on improving procedures for communicating system issues to customers. “The county has previously acquired several small water systems,” Robertson said. “Many of them, like the Days Point system, are older and in need of constant maintenance and significant improvement. The work currently underway to improve/upgrade the waterline serving Hardy Elementary will provide the opportunity for future upgrades or replacement of the system serving the Days Point area. As you might imagine, that will be a significant undertaking in both scope and cost. As previously noted, there are several systems in need of significant improvement, so these are projects that will require quite a bit of planning, coordination and funding. We appreciate the feedback from the Youngers and our other customers. It helps us to improve our service and procedures, and in this regard, we remain committed to the continued improvement of our utilities and we recognize the challenges in doing so.”