Water Well Woes In Wayne County

People on Ader Hold Road in Wayne County have depended on well water for decades. But those wells ran dry when Lake Cumberland's levels were dropped to take pressure off the leaking Wolf Creek Dam.

“Nothing there now but a big cave,” says Bo Miller, among the 30 people without their routine source of water, a well that’s more than 60 feet below within site of what’s known as the “South Fork” of Lake Cumberland.

That means there is no water for drinking, washing or cooking. Miller says for him and the other families it's like living in the Stone Age.

“I didn't know what I was going to do. We started getting five gallon buckets at the spring. Carrying five gallon buckets that we flush tires with. Take bath water, gallon jugs for water to cook with, drink with,” says Miller.

Water is now hauled from nearby sources and pumped into 1,500-gallon containers.

While some face the challenge of getting water to their homes, others in the community are trying to erase the perception that there's not enough water in Lake Cumberland to float boats in.

There may not be water in the wells, but Monticello Mayor Kenneth Catron says there's still plenty of water in the lake. Tourists spend millions of dollars each year but Catron says out-of-towners think the lake's run dry.

“Already we're losing people to Dale Hollow and other lakes. They're canceling out and going there. Fishing tournaments are canceling out,” says Mayor Catron.

Catron and other mayors around Lake Cumberland were depending on help from Frankfort. However, the General Assembly didn't pass a bill that would have provided funding.

But Catron says at least they will be getting some emergency funding to help people who simply would like to have some water coming out of their faucets.

“Water is not plentiful. There's plenty in the lake. But when the wells and springs go dry, there's no place to get it,” says Jim Keith of Wayne County.


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