A few weeks ago you printed a letter from Mayor Weaver of Boone outlining the reasons why Boone should draw water and return somewhat treated water from The New River- just before the Ashe County line. It appears to me that several parts of this debate have been distorted by both sides to make their points. I think Ms. Weaver sees her side clearly, but has vastly discounted the opinions put forth by others.
I think several issues should be completely addressed before this project moves ahead.
1. The New River is not just any river, but is the first or second oldest in the world and parts have been set aside as a Natioinal Historic River. It flows North and the only other to do so is The Nile.
2. Some towns and cities in North Carolina ( Davidson being one ) have elected to stop growth. Why does Boone have to continue to grow ? Why did North Carolina mandate additional enrollment at A.S.U., when the University did not desire that growth ? The mountain area surrounding Boone can not support more and more people no matter how great the living environment is in other ways. We do not have the roads, the water or the sewage facilities to support vast numbers of people.
3. Although Mayor Weaver states that Boone has gone that extra mile to conserve water, is there not new technology that could be applied? Has The State of North Carolina put in new toilets and shower heads in all dorms to save valuable water. What has N.C. and other major using facilities done to reuse water coming off the roofs for purposes such as laundry ?
4. Boone and Blowing Rock nearly run out each October during football season. What about more above ground storage to even out demand ?
5. What about the drugs and pharmacetical products that can not be presently be filtered out of the returned water ? Is it fair to just push this material downstream or could future technology solve the problem ?
6. Just where would the returned water flow into The New ? Would there be a gap between where the water is removed and where the "treated water” is returned.
7. What provisions for human error will be applied concerning the proposed treatment? We recall a major fish kill from discharge from the Blowing Rock waste treatment plant in recent years. Will the waste treatment plants be big enough to compensate for human error?
8. Ms. Weaver's statement about more control being placed on downstream development after Boone's proposed facility goes on line is just amazing. This is just a case of "kicking the can " to make your point.
I think all parties should slow down and let conservation and real science determine the outcome. The State of North Carolina, Boone, Blowing Rock and A.S.U. should spend the extra money to allow the solution to be an example of doing something correctly the first time - not just taking the cheapest path.