WORKERS: State Groundwater Investigations Unit In Danger

Workers at the Groundwater Investigations Unit of the state’s Division of Water Quality field office in Kinston say they’re worried about their jobs – and the future of North Carolina’s drinking water.

They say the state is considering eliminating the unit from its budget, which they say will have a negative effect on the state’s groundwater. Workers say they say monitor things like nitrate and arsenic levels in aquifers to see if there’s contamination. If there is, they say they’re trained to fix the problem using drills.

Workers say the unit is the only one like it in the state – and say without it, contamination levels could go unchecked, leaving those who drink the state’s groundwater in trouble.

They say if there’s contamination, the state will have to contract drilling companies to fix the problem. Workers say that will be more expensive in the long run because most drilling companies are trained to drill in a specific type of rock, while their unit is trained to drill in all types of rock and sand.

Workers say the unit's annual budget is about $360,000 a year, which covers salaries and benefits for seven employees.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by edgumacated? on Jun 11, 2010 at 05:10 AM
    Who wrote this article and how did they ever become a journalist?
  • by Beth Location: Goldsboro on Jun 4, 2010 at 05:27 AM
    I think WITN needs to look into this more and give these guy some more air time.
  • by bill Location: Deep Run on Jun 3, 2010 at 07:50 AM
    I know most of the State Groundwater Investigation Unit. I can tell you they work hard and the cover all 100 counties. They are on the road from 4 to 5 days a week most weeks. They are doing work to help keep the people of this state safe when it come to their well water. They can be call on at anytime time and can move from one end of the state to the other. Their jobs are important to all of us. They locate clean water that most citzens can not do on their on. Not they do not put in wells for them, they fine where the water is and then the citzens have to have a private drilling company to come and put in their well. But they know where the clean water is located at. We need to save this drilling unit if we can. I am going to write and call my legislator to keep them in the budget, I like clean and safe water to drink. I hope you will do the same call and write your legislator.
  • by Doug Location: Jacksonville on Jun 2, 2010 at 07:45 PM
    Wake up folks. Can we relax and assume that our groundwater we drink is clean? NO!!!!!!!!
  • by hope Location: NC on Jun 2, 2010 at 07:15 PM
    We need to prioritize our spending and balance the budget. Clean safe drinking water SHOULD be a PRIORITY.
  • by Richard Location: Duplin County on Jun 2, 2010 at 06:45 PM
    Quite frankly I am disappointed. A cow stuck in the mud got twice as much coverage as a group of State Employees that are about to be unemployed, a WHOLE UNIT not just ONE PERSON. I know some of these men personally and also know that covering the entire state, they sacrifice alot of time with their families. They do this to help the citizens of N.C. I suppose a cow is more newsworthy.
  • by Bill Location: Kinston on Jun 2, 2010 at 05:46 PM
    Groundwater Investigation is not the only capability of this crew. Does anybody remember the "Evans Road Fire" 2 years ago in Hyde County that destroyed thousands of acres of N.C forests. The Federal Government requested and funded these people to go in and drill wells to help supply water to fight this devastating fire., Although told to stand down at the last minute,these seven men have shown that they are capable of handling any type of drilling task presented to them. Is this not worth a measly $360,000.00? Compare this to the millions that the State Government wastes every year on useless programs. To have a crew of seven, with the equipment available and capability to go anywhere in N.C. and perform these important duties at moments notice is worth the expense.
  • by Karen Location: NC on Jun 2, 2010 at 02:47 PM
    why do we need this unit? oh, thats right all disposal of wastes & contaminates are reported in the proper manner.YEAH RIGHT!
  • by Nancy Location: Biscoe on Jun 2, 2010 at 02:32 PM
    This is for Ed, I live in a rural area not too far from Rockingham, my neighbors and I were having to haul water in 5 gallon containers to use because of pesticide contamination in our water wells. This so called "department peddling a little fear" came in and drilled test wells and confirmed the presence of pesticides used on peach orchards 50 years ago. They also found clean water in deeper aquifers. Didn't cost me a dime but I pay taxes and think it is well worth it to have this crew. Now I know there is clean water available just had to hire a private outfit to drill me a new well.
  • by Justice on Jun 2, 2010 at 02:00 PM
    We could just fire 2 wilmington ABC bosses and keep this unit intact. 360k for seven people and equipment is cheap. Lets fire 1 big salary SUIT position and keep this.
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