Water Back On, But Problems Still Exist

By: Jenna Emenhiser Email
By: Jenna Emenhiser Email

Officials say the water is back on in Knott County and they hope the temporary system they have set up will last.

Officials say firefighters hauled water late into the night Friday night and are still on the roads trying to replenish a struggling water system. Judge Executive Randy Thompson says all of Knott County currently has water, but some people in the county say they don't know what to expect next.

Wanda Burnett says she lost water service Thursday night but says it has been inconsistent ever since.

"It comes on, it will stay on for a few hours, it goes off. We have no pressure then we'll have pressure," Burnett said.

Burnett says she has water, but the pressure is too low to even take a shower. County officials say they are working to fix Burnett and other Knott Countians water problems. They say they located an aqua field and are already drilling a new well.

"That will probably be a week or two away before we can tap in and utilize this particular well," said Randy Thompson, Knott County Judge Executive.

In the meantime the National Guard will set up a temporary filtration system, taking water from troublesome creek.

"That should allow us to even shut down the wells for several weeks to take over the system and supply us with the water that is necessary," Thompson said.

Thompson says the county's problems stem from multiple sources. He says in the past couple years the water system has expanded by 300 customers.

"They've been great wells they're still producing good but they're not capable of adding on additional customers without some supplemental help," Thompson said.

Thompson says that help has been coming from Southern Water in Floyd County, but they are working on fixing pump problems of their own.

To make matters worse, officials say Eastern Kentucky is in a drought. Officials with the National Weather Service say precipitation levels across the region are currently 6 to 10 inches below normal.

"If you don't have any rainfall coming from the clouds, then you don't have any liquid to go into the water table so the water table falls and the wells get dry," said Meteorologist Tony Edwards.

National Weather Service officials say as of now precipitation levels should remain normal over the next few months, meaning we will remain in a drought.

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