EAST BEND — Around 50 area residents attended a meeting on June 24 to learn more about a new water line that will be providing water to East Bend from neighboring Forsyth County in the near future.
County Manager Aaron Church welcomed attendees and gave a brief explanation of the meeting’s purpose.
“The main reason for having this meeting is to talk to folks that are going to be impacted or affected by this project and to answer any questions you may have and to provide to you where we plan to run the water line,” Church said. “The main thing we want you to know is that there is going to be a benefit to those along the line, but the main reason for doing this project is East Bend’s wells in the past have been contaminated. That is the impetus of this project, to get fresh potable water to a community of about 300 to 500 hundred folks that haven’t had it in the past.”
East Bend’s existing water source are wells in the town, one of which was shut down in 2011 due to excessive radium contamination and another due to low yield. Though the wells are in compliance by EPA standards now, there is concern that radium levels could rise again or another well could run dry. Church said that East Bend has requested assistance for some time in getting a better water system for its residents.
At the start of the meeting, Church also said he hoped to quell certain incorrect facts that have been mentioned about the project.
“There’s been several rumors and questions we’ve heard about there being fees to people’s property [along the water line] by the foot, none of that is going to happen. No new assessments on any property for anything and nobody is going to be required to hook up [to the water line],” Church said.
Engineer Mike Goliber with the firm Davis, Martin, Powell, reviewed a brief PowerPoint presentation about the project which included a map of the proposed line. The water line connection originates under the Yadkin River in the Enon community. The line will then run to Taylor Road, then along Taylor Road connecting to make a loop from Old U.S. Highway 421 and Flint Hill Road then proceed to East Bend along Flint Hill Road. The final design for the project is expected to be completed by September and an anticipated construction start date is slated for March of 2015. The project is estimated to take 12 months to complete.
Following Goliber’s presentation, the public was given time to ask questions. One of the first questions asked was about the necessity of purchasing easements along the route and the size of those easements.
“The water line is planned to be within the road right-of-way along the routes so only where we need to get off the right-of-way for a couple of stream crossings will we maybe need to get outside of the right-of-way and those easements are typically fairly minimal 20 to 30 feet at most,” Goliber said. “The primary routing for the water line will be within the road right-of-way and typically a water line is about four feet deep and we try to be anywhere from five to eight feet off the edge of the pavement.”
Church assured attendees that the county was planning to talk with each landowner along the route to make sure they were comfortable with what would be going on during the water line’s construction process.
“We’re going to personally come meet with every single landowner that’s going to be impacted along this route and we may need an easement and we may not, but anybody that lives a long that red line is going to see a county employee or an engineer at your dining room table, if you’ll let us,” Church said.
A number of other questions during the meeting related to the pricing and fees for residents along the water line’s route that wished to sign up for a connection. Church said that all fees related to the the hook ups to the new line would be established by the county commissioners and those fees had not yet been decided.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.