Water provider in Cabarrus community refuses to fix leaking meters

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Residents in one Cabarrus County neighborhood have been stuck with a slow and damaging leak for years. But calls to their water provider and the North Carolina Utilities Commission haven’t gotten them any results.

Since Christmas 2019, Eric Olsen has had this persistently annoying leak from the water meter in front of his house.

“I must have called him a dozen times,” Olsen said.

Olsen isn’t the only one in this Harrisburg community stuck with this problem.

“I’ve had the same problem. It started many years ago,” Troy Bunch told WBTV

Troy Bunch also rigged up a nifty PVC contraption to keep the leak from damaging his yard and driveway. After many calls, it’s clear who’s supposed to fix the issue. The problem is getting them to pick up.

“You can you call Water Resources and there’s never anybody picking the phone,” Olsen said.

Water Resources Inc provides well water to the Rocky River community and one other in the area. It’s a small operation but that doesn’t absolve them from providing the necessary upkeep to the communities they serve.

Emails provided by Olsen show the company owner, Dennis Abbott promising to fix the issue, but they never have.

WBTV started calling Water Resources too.

The number provided on the company’s North Carolina Secretary of State filing was for a number for FirstService Residential, another company owned by Abbott. No one ever responded to the voicemails left by WBTV.

WBTV also went to the company headquarters in a Southpark office building

The sign on the front of the door was for FirstResidential and another sign said that all employees were working remotely.

Frustrated with the lack of response. Olsen started reaching out to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which regulates companies like Water Resources.

After a lot of back and forth he eventually filed a formal complaint against Water Resources. The Utilities Commission gave them ten days to respond.

“But like a month goes by and I don’t hear anything,” Olsen said.

Several months passed before the Utilities Commission finally scheduled a hearing with Water Resources.

WBTV reached out to the Utilities Commission to ask why they didn’t schedule a hearing right away since the company wouldn’t respond. A spokesperson refused to go on camera but told WBTV they were trying to work with the company to give them more time before they eventually felt compelled to schedule the hearing.

Olsen said he’s frustrated with both Water Resources and the Utilities Commission for failing to fix the leak or hold the company responsible accountable.

Utilities Commission records obtained by WBTV note Water Resources record of poor customer service. The same document also reveals that Water Resources claims it doesn’t have enough money to replace these old meters.

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