Water Scarce for Hundreds in Northern Arkansa County

July 10, 2012

Hundreds of families are running low on water in parts of northern Arkansas’ Newton County as maintenance problems and drought strain rural water associations.

In addition to the hot, dry, weather, a pump broke last at a well last month, slowly shutting customers off from their main water supply, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Sunday.

The well won’t be fully functional until crews replace some of its parts, which could happen as early as Friday, operator Lynn Spradley said. But he said customers wouldn’t receive water until at least two days later.

Normally, if something goes wrong, nearby water providers will pitch in, but this year, everyone is running low.

“We don’t have the option to help out our neighbors right now because we’re all in the same boat,” Mockingbird Hill Water Association board President John Meyer told the newspaper.

For now, families in the area, such as Kelly and Curtis Tindel, are filling up buckets of water from a National Guard tanker in order to cook, wash up and even flush toilets.

At the Boston Mountain Rural Health Center in Deer, Candy Reynolds said she worries the center might have to close because of the water shortage.

“It’s not looking good,” Reynolds said.

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