Knott County Calls for Water Restrictions

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

A drought is creeping back into the mountains, causing some areas to limit water use. Many areas are seeing water levels 5 to 10 inches below normal, but some are feeling the drought more than others.

Knott County water officials sent out letters to their customers saying all non-essential water use is prohibited.

Creeks and streams are already low due to the drought and Knott County water officials say they need to start conserving now before things get any worse.

"No watering lawns, no filling pools, no washing cars, to try to conserve water and make it through the drought," says Reva Campbell, Manager of the Knott County Water District.

Officials say there is only so much water to go around.

"Most of the water in Knott County is pulled from wells, a lot of years pulling from the same wells and the water level gets low," says Martin Vanderpool with the Knott County Water District.

"When the water table drops, the water in the wells drop. You just have a certain amount you can pump and that's it," says Campbell.

But the current drought is not the only issue. The county buys their water from Southern water and the city of Hindman. Recent water breaks are making it more difficult to get water to the community, but city officials say they are doing all they can to avoid the problems they had last summer.

Alice Ritchie, the Chairperson of Knott County Water says, "Last year we had to call the National Guard in, a state of emergency, and we're trying to prevent that right now. If everybody works together and conserves water, that will not happen."

Ritchie says a solution is on its way. A new water plant will use water from Carr Creek Lake to serve the county. The plant will hold at least 2 million gallons of water at a time and is expected to open by January first.

Knott County water officials say they hope all of their customers will see service from that plant by april of next year.

The following non-essential waters uses use prohibited:

Using sprinklers or hosepipes to water gardens, lawns, parks/sports grounds
Filling privately owned swimming pools other than for medical treatment
Filling ornamental ponds other than fishponds
Operating mechanical car washes
Washing cars, boats, trains, aircrafts, for any reason other than safety or hygiene
Cleaning outsides of buildings apart from windows
Cleaning industrial premises or plants, apart from for safety or hygiene reasons
Using Hosepipes or sprinklers to clean windows
Running ornamental fountains and cascades

Any customers violating these restrictions could face fines.

If you have any questions, contacts the Knott County Water District at 606-785-5584.

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