Letter: Stop building and figure out what water system can handle

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Got to say something about the city water problem. We moved here in ’05, so you can consider us as new folks.

Have no idea when the infrastructure was built but think maybe a few years ago.

Now they are adding hotels and apartment complexes to a system that can’t handle all of the new demand for more water.

You have a county Board of Commissioners that only cares about making more taxes for the county and the almighty tourist dollar.

They are clueless as to what problems they are causing. As long as they keep allowing all this building to continue, this will keep happening.

Look at Highway 70 between Swannanoa and Oteen and all the leaks they have had.

Guess you can say you get what you voted for.

Time to put a hiatus on new buildings and structures and talk to experts on what the infrastructure can handle. I have a wife in CarePartners on Sweeten Creek Road with no water. Really don’t think this problem will help her and all the other patients.

What is going to happen when the 852 apartments open on Sweeten Creek Road? Gee, maybe another burst pipe.

— Leonard Nickerson

Editor’s note: In a Dec. 27 report, Mission Health spokesperson Nancy Lindell told BPR that the main campus of CarePartners and CarePartners PACE were without water, but contingency arrangements were in place and patient care wasn’t affected. On Dec. 29, the city of Asheville stated that all three of its water treatment facilities were back online and “all identified major leaks have been isolated or addressed”; service restoration was still underway Jan. 2 for the Candler Knob and Spivey Mountain areas. Issues began Dec. 24 with the onset of extremely cold weather, according to WLOS.


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11 thoughts on “Letter: Stop building and figure out what water system can handle

  1. Mike Rains

    I don’t believe that overall water system capacity/capability is related to the recent water outage.

    • AndyPAvl

      All due respect and sympathy to the letter writer and their wife, but Mike is right.

      The idea that you’d want to stop new homes from being built because you might end up with a burst pipe is akin to saying that because buildings sometimes catch fire, we shouldn’t build anything new at all ever.

  2. NFB

    “Now they are adding hotels and apartment complexes to a system that can’t handle all of the new demand for more water.”

    The reason for all the new apartment complexes is that people are doing what the letter writer did — moving here.

    In any case Mr. Rains is correct. The recent problems the water system has had were not connected to capacity issues.

  3. michael L jackson

    i worked for that place a while and they havent maintained a thing that i can promise! if its the way it used to be there were 5 people on 4 different crews each one handled north south east or west! everything east the tunnel is the east side! to be honest when i was there the workload was way too much for that amount of people! the two main lines from northfork run along bee tree road a 36 and a 24″ line

  4. kw

    Okay, let’s assume that the obviously intelligent commenters above are correct. Can we not imagine how much worse things could have been in an alternate overbuilt Asheville where 80,000 humans rather than 38,000 are trapped without water during a blizzard and/or power outages and/or housing fires?

  5. Eli

    I don’t know why everyone thinks that the city can magically stop all development

    • R.G.

      Yes, but as kw suggests above, how much worse could such events turn out if we do not consider a future with larger numbers of humans, our crumbling infrastructure, unique topography, the uncertainty of future climate events and the piss-poor lack of communication from so-called ‘leaders’? We’re damn lucky no one died this time (that we know of), but what an embarrassing but necessary wakeup call for this city.

  6. Phillip Williams

    Too much development, too quickly, is taxing the water, sewer and road systems – that is not an opinion, it is just how it is. I live in Arden and work downtown – the other day it took me over an hour to get home on Hwy 25 because of wrecks on Hwy 25 and I-26. More traffic means a higher likelihood of wrecks. More users on the water and sewer systems means more potential for mishaps – especially in an older system.

    Sounds to me like some the folks who doubt this are just trying to justify their desire for more development and more money. For a bunch who claims to be “Green” this or that, they sure do chop down a lot of trees around here.

    • R.G.

      Absolutely right! Development impacts every aspect of our lives/quality of lives. Not every parcel of land is meant to be built upon. And as we learned during the pandemic, Nature is vital and must be safeguarded.

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