English Mountain residents fight for clean water in Sevier County
The residents of English Mountain took their frustrations about their struggle for water to the East Sevier Utility District.
SEVIER CO., Tenn. (WVLT) - The residents of English Mountain have a water problem. Some have gone weeks, even months, without water. Others that have water are concerned about its quality and its permanence.
“You’re constantly worried if we’re gonna run out tomorrow,” Jerry Hayes who lives on the mountain said
English Mountain residents took their concerns to the East Sevier Utility District on Friday to air their frustrations about the ongoing water problem. Hayes said he was upset with the way the utility company had handled the issue.
“Year after year they’ve sat in my house and my living room and just told us ‘bare with us, it’s gonna get better.’ Just bare with me, it’s gonna get better. We’ve been told that for years. We get false promises and lies. One person tells us one thing, another person tells us something else,” Hayes said.
Some members of the community have asked the current board to resign and have a new utility district take over. “There is another water utility district that is willing to come in here and take over this water board and supply us with water. That means all new water lines, that means we don’t have to deal without water,” Patricia Rogers said.
However, engineer with McGill Associates Jamie Carden said a permanent solution to the water problem on English Mountain would require more time and money.
The engineering and consulting firm was able to help the utility company receive a grant of $50,000 from the state to help crews locate main water lines that are leaking, which was a daily fight, according to Carden. Sevier County officials and McGill associates have been helping the utility district find more permanent sources of funding.
“Even if the solution is here today, the problem is they are miles from other sources that can help them and that’s a long construction lead time,” Carden said.
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