The new owners of the Robbinston property at 925 Route 1, which has been the source of free artisanal well water for many people over the years, have had to post "Private property! No trespassing" signs in front of their home. Dave Zink and Dena Yakimchuk say they were seeing 30 to 40 people a day driving onto their property and helping themselves to the chemical-free liquid, nicknamed "holy water" because of the church on the property.
"Most people we have had the opportunity to talk with since we arrived here voiced their concerns about being helpful and made us feel welcome in the neighborhood," stresses Zink, a mason. "[But] I have to sympathize with Dena when I come home from work in the evenings and hear horror stories how people come in telling us we should redirect our parking area so others can have an open circular path to leave by, or that maybe I should get rid of my [three German shepherds] just to accommodate the public's satisfaction. Or the ones that only pull into the driveway and don't say a word, making us feel uncomfortable in our own home and simply help themselves to water and drive away like they themselves own the place."
Zink says someone complained to the board of selectman about the barking of their German shepherds, and he pointed out that they only do it when strange people move into the driveway. "I even have to feed them on a leash because I never know when we are going to get unexpected guests. Although they are friendly, if they don't know someone they are still going to be leery, thus defensive." He describes one instance when a father came for water and allowed all three of his children out of their vehicle. The youngest girl, no older than 3 years old, made a beeline for one of the dogs. "The father continued filling his jug leaving myself to deal with the matter," recalls Zink.
Yakimchuk notes that when she asked one man who was filling his many gallon jugs to leave because he was trespassing, the man responded by swearing at her and stating, “Welcome to America.”
Zink and Yakimchuk are also worried about the advent of colder weather when the puddles around the outflow begin to freeze and someone might slip. "The well needs to be routed by way of pipe under the gravel to prohibit some of the dangers of a car sliding and people falling down getting hurt," points out Zink.
Summing up the situation, he says, "Folks, we are two very nice people. We are not buying the home to inconvenience anyone for lack of water. We are open to suggestions for your sake, [and] you have to understand that respect is a two-way street. It is just that there happens to be no relief for seven days a week. So to ensure that nobody wastes fuel driving to Robbinston, I would like to address that the well be shut down immediately."
They also note that there is another spring on the Ridge Road that offers public access.