Council reminds county that lack of a tower hurts their residents as well
The lack of a water tower in Weddington harms Stallings residents as well. During their Monday, Sept. 26 meeting, Stallings town council members adopted a resolution which will go to county commissioners, letting them know the area’s water pressure problems need to be addressed in some way.
“This impacts a number of our residents,” Stallings mayor Lynda Paxton said. “The water tower in Stallings supplies water to residents in Weddington (and) I’ve had numerous complaints from the Chestnut community about water pressure. If they don’t build a water tower in Weddington, we’re going to have trouble there.”
The Weddington town council pulled back their support of a water tower Sept. 19, rescinding a previous vote and sending the county back to the drawing board. Due to the lack of a tower or pump station in Weddington, the nearest one is the tower in Stallings, which creates water pressure problems both for residents in Weddington’s northern section and in Stallings.
Stallings council member Wyatt Dunn said there was no water pressure in his subdivision of Shannamara Sept. 24. Other council members echoed his complaint, concerned that the system was straining to create pressure both for Weddington and Stallings residents.
The water tower was scheduled to be built at 247 Providence Road South, part of a 9 acre lot. Public Works officials wanted to use the 1.5 million gallon tower to improve static pressure and fire flow in the western portion of Union County during peak demand.
Only 18 percent of Weddington’s 73 subdivisions have fire hydrants. Additionally, 80 percent of homes use wells instead of county water. Of the town’s subdivisions, 60 of the 73 use only well water. However in the northern part of the town, water pressure during the low demand portions of the day barely meets the minimum requirements for fire departments to use hydrants. At peak demand times, there’s no guarantee the hydrants would have enough pressure to pump out the water. Fire hydrants in Stallings have not been tested recently, to measure the amount of water pressure generated.
The issue in Weddington is that residents want a ground level tank, to avoid having to look at a tower. The problem for the county is that a ground level tank would raise the cost of the project to $6.18 million, $1.5 million more than a water tower. The reason for that is the fact the tower’s height helps direct and guide water flow. Ground level tanks would require a pump station. Also included in their vote, the Weddington town council offered to cover the operating costs of a pump station and tank, taking $20,000 a year for 10 years out of their general fund. In exchange, the county would turn over the 5 acres of land for open space.
The Stallings resolution will be sent to county commissioners. Additionally, the county will discuss water tank options with the Weddington town board at their Oct. 10 joint meeting.