Letter: Civility crumbles with broken pipe

Graphic by Lori Deaton

There is a legend at my feet. It lies within the Woodfin Water District main line that eases through here. One hundred years ago, the pipe was put down by men with mules, sleds, pick axes and shovels for 25 cents a day. They weren’t just moving water to Woodfin — every farm they crossed gained access to water. It was an awesome achievement of pure grit. Along with a hookup, the commitment to leave the land like they found it was understood. They were neighbors working with neighbors; they understood the land and respected their relationship to the community.

Well, the pipe is crumbling now, and the civility it was put in with has all but dissipated.

I clocked a leak above my house at 100 gallons/minute. It has been growing over the years. I first reported it 10 years ago. That is a lot of water to imagine, but I don’t have to. The water sat around the barn, the house and was a foot deep iron sludge in the yard and has been for three years now. The leak got fixed last August, and things have dried out but are not getting restored to the way it was.

At least Woodfin Water will not be a part of the cleanup. They claim no neglect. Because they actually believe that, I think it isn’t neglect but pure ignorance that runs that corporation. Soon, the pipe I am standing on will need replacing. Hopefully, a renewed fiscal responsibility will come with it. One that reflects honorably the original legend of 100 years ago. Leave it like you found it.

— Sally Duryea

Editor’s note: Xpress contacted the Woodfin Sanitary Water & Sewer District with the letter writer’s points and received the following response from Executive Director Joseph Martin, which said in part: “The District experienced a water main break near this individual’s property. The break was repaired. There were no apparent damages. … The matter was turned over to our insurer (N.C. League of Municipalities), which conducted an investigation and found no damages nor responsibility on the District’s behalf. We encourage the individual to forward any claims to their insurer, who can work with ours as necessary.”


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2 thoughts on “Letter: Civility crumbles with broken pipe

  1. sarajane duryea

    this is in response to my letter about the wood fin water leak..I was asked to get my own estimate from their insurance company which came to twenty thousand..I never suggested hundreds of thousands of dollars. The situation needed some exposure so when they denied responsibility I felt writing was the only avenue left.

  2. MG Massey

    We lived in Woodfin for eleven years on same street.
    At end of said street was a water leak the renter thoughtfully turned into pond
    And our neighbors were plagued with high water bills.
    Fix leaks..in Woodfin

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