The Watershed Saga



Our Watershed

A great example of the ripple effect of the effort of Old Sequoyans and citizens here to elect new trustees to the Woodfin Water Board to save the trees in our watershed.

Betty Chamberlain

Special to the Citizen-Times
July 15, 2005

ASHEVILLE — The Eblen Charities and the Woodfin Water Sanitary Water and Sewer District have joined together to create a program to assist Woodfin Water customers who are having difficulty paying their water bills because of emergencies they may be facing.

The Woodfin/Eblen Water Assistance Project will be part of the Eblen Partnerships initiatives that joins with the public and the private sector in seeking out and creating programs that will serve the community and those who may be in need of assistance.

“This is another great opportunity for us and especially the families we serve,” said Brian Moore, chairman of the Eblen Charities.

“We have worked for some time with the Buncombe County Department of Social Services and the Health Center, but this is the first time we have had a particular municipal department contact us with an idea for a partnership.”

The idea for the program came from the board of Woodfin Sanitary Water and Sewer District and its district director, Joe Martin, in effort to assist their clients.

“We are excited to be working with the Eblen Charities to find a way to assist our customers that may be having difficulty in paying their existing water bills. We hope to see the partnership grow each year as we reach out to those in need,” Martin said.

The Woodfin Water district serves more than 10,000 people and covers the town of Woodfin and sections of North Asheville, West Asheville and Leicester.

Joe Eblen, president of Biltmore Oil Company, founded Eblen Charities in 1991. Through its numerous programs, Eblen Charities has assisted tens of thousands of children, adults and families with medication, medical supplies, travel, food, heating and utility assistance, and other emergency needs.

Call Bill Murdock at the Eblen Charities at 255-3066 for more information.



Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am writing you today to cordially invite you to a celebration on Friday, October 15, 2004, at 12:00 P.M. On that date we will be celebrating the pending purchase of a conservation easement on the Woodfin Sanitary Water and Sewer District's 1,900-acre watershed by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. This easement, the purchase of which was made possible by a $4.1 million grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and a $500,000 donation from Fred and Alice Stanback, will permanently protect the District's watershed from future logging and development activities and safeguard in perpetuity the water supply for the District. This water supply serves nearly 10,000 people in Woodfin, Asheville, and the surrounding Buncombe County area.

The celebration will be held at the Woodfin Community Center in Woodfin and lunch will be served. This celebration will be an excellent opportunity to share in this momentous event with the District and the numerous parties and individuals that worked hard to make this possible. I have attached a map showing the location of the Community center and written directions with this e-mail. Since I know everyone has busy schedules, I would encourage everyone to try and arrive a few minutes early so that we may begin and finish on-time.

It would greatly appreciated it if those of you that plan to attend could send me a short e-mail to confirm. Also, if you have any questions please feel free to give me a call.

Thank you all for your time, and we look forward to seeing you on the 15th!


Joseph Martin
Woodfin Sanitary Water and Sewer District
122 Elkwood Avenue, PO Box 8452
Asheville, NC 28814
(828) 253-5551







From the Asheville Citizen-Times (18 August 2004):

Protecting the watershed

Three members of the Woodfin water board took a major step toward permanently protecting the district watershed from development when they voted to move ahead with a conservation easement Tuesday night.

According to MasterCard, you can put a price on a lot of things, but some are priceless, and I believe the quality of the water as well as the quality of the forests should be considered priceless, Woodfin water customer Jim Pitts said Tuesday.

Pitts was among more than 30 people who filled a room at the Woodfin water district office to hear more about the easement, which would prevent the kind of large-scale logging project that generated so much concern in Woodfin last year.

Many water customers and people living near the watershed opposed the plan, citing fears about large logging trucks using narrow roads into the watershed and concerns about the potential effect on water quality. The water district board voted unanimously to grant an option to purchase the easement to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. The Clean Water Management Trust Fund has pledged more than $4.1 million and a private donor has agreed to put up $500,000 to pay for the easement.

The district could use the money to pay for improvements to the water system, which serves more than 3,000 customers.



Watershed Updates


See also "Situation Report" below.



For background, please read the


It is vital to the future of Sequoyah!


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