Boil alert over for English Mountain utility customers

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – Customers of the East Sevier County Utility District, which services the English Mountain area, no longer have to boil water.

Officials say a number of pipes broke late July, leading to water outages. A boil alert was put in place as a precaution.

“When that happens, we lose water from all the tanks and that’s a problem,” said ESCUD Commissioner Janice Brooks-Headrick.

East Sevier County Utility District serves customers in the English Mountain area of Sevier County. Customers of other utility districts in Sevier County or its municipalities are not affected.

During the alert, some English Mountain homeowners say they have no water at all.

Previous story: Sevier County utility: Brown tap water in English Mountain safe to drink

“I think today is day four with no water,” said homeowner Beth Jones.

Her family, like many others on English Mountain, have had to go to the utility district to pick up water to bring back home.

“We had filled our bathtubs when the water started having bursts of air in it. So you flush wisely and you stick your head in the sink, soap up and let someone pour water over your hair. You feel like you’re camping but it’s no fun,” added Jones.

There were five wells in the system supplies are short by about 1,000 gallons. Wells A and B were doing all the work currently.

“We’re fixing it as fast as we can. We have two men working their tails off,” added Brooks-Headrick.

The utility district hoped to have well C, which is new to the system, running soon.

“And 70 percent of the people on top of the mountain now have water. I think they’re going to have water here in the next couple of days. It’s been off and on,” said Brooks-Headrick.

The Salvation Army went going door to door to drop off cases of water.

“Well we’re sort of on-call right now. The truck behind me was loaded and we now have distributed everything on that truck so we’re going to head back to Sevierville, load up, and come back out,” said Major David Worthy.

Utility district officials couldn’t answer questions about a more permanent fix.

“I don’t know. I don’t want to lie. I don’t want to make anything up. I don’t want to tell them everything’s okay when it’s not, but as soon as I know, you’ll know,” said Brooks-Headrick.

Frustrated homeowners said they want leaders to work out a partnership with neighboring water districts in either Sevier County or Cocke County.

“When is this nightmare going to be over?” asked Jones.

ESCUD leaders said they’re working on a new emergency alert system to more efficiently let homeowners know when there is a problem.

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