Water and sewer for all

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 12, 2004

It was a long time coming, but the Nansemond Shores and Holiday Point communities in northern Suffolk are receiving city water and sewer.

Needless to say, you don’t miss your water until your well runs dry. With Suffolk’s sprawling 430 square-miles, many communities are waiting on bended knees for city services. The Nansemond Shores endeavor represents &uot;one of the largest neighborhood projects we’ve undertaken,&uot; according to Public Utilities Director Al Moor.

Contractors are within 60 to 90 days of completing the $5.6 million sewer and water project.

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Despite the inconvenience of finding themselves without water and sewer on occasions during the project, the neighborhoods will obviously find that the service was worth waiting for. In communities with aging community water systems, the city has been purchasing the wells to convert citizens to city services.

City service does come with a larger price tag that many residents bemoan, but there are also benefits including enhanced transmission and sanitation-which community well systems cannot maintain at the same level as a municipality.

It’s also noteworthy that during Hurricane Isabel, communities with city service did not realize a loss of water, while neighborhoods on well systems were without water and electricity.

As Suffolk continues to see an influx in new developments, it’s only right that the city take care of existing homeowners and extend water and sewer services.

The challenge, however, will be continuing to press ahead to reach outlying areas, such as Holland and Whaleyville, which have long felt that services are never coming their way – and one of the promises of merger 30 years ago. This will come at no small cost – but a cost well worth it to ensure that Suffolk residents receive the most basic of services that directly speaks to the quality of life in the city.

The city must stay focused on a long-term public utilities plan that meets the needs of every community in this city, while balancing the preservation of agricultural space. Whether a resident lives in northern Suffolk or in the deep rural crevices of Holland, they should be able to look forward to water and sewer lines coming their way.