Dispute leaves families without water

by: Craig Lucie Updated:

“I got the water hose hooked up to the faucet outside, and we had an electrical cord here that we have to flip on to run water,” said Chad Fincher.

POLK COUNTY, Ga. - Residents in a local neighborhood said they have no water and they are not getting help from the water authority.

“I got the water hose hooked up to the faucet outside, and we had an electrical cord here that we have to flip on to run water,” said Chad Fincher.

He has had to haul 600 gallons of water every three to four days for six years. Fincher showed Channel 2’s Craig Lucie how the water he currently has running from a pump barely has any water pressure.

“You can’t even use the spray hose,” said Fincher.

Fincher showed Lucie pictures of his son filling up their two 300-gallon tanks from a fire hydrant a mile and a half away.

The Finchers knew their well would eventually dry up, so they say they made a deal with the Polk County Water Authority giving the county more than five years to save money to run a water line to their street.

“I have documented proof they said they would give us water,” said Fincher’s wife, April.

She said the county just spent the money they saved, and it wasn't on a new water line for her family and neighbors.

“They spent money on another project and said there’s nothing they can do,” said April’s sister, Marie Fincher, who lives on the same street.

The Polk County Water Authority’s general manager told Lucie their problem is a statewide problem.

“These are people that are not on our system, so they have been on well water for years and now, their wells dry up, and they would like us to bring water to their area. We just can’t make that happen overnight,” said Jack Damron.

Damron told Lucie it would cost more than $500,000 to replace the Finchers' garden hose with a real water line to that area. He said they live in a remote area at a high elevation.

“We regret their wells are dry. We sell water, so we would like to have them as customers. We reach out to every family and bring water to them. It's a huge expense,” said Damron.

April Fincher said the agreement they made five years ago is documented in meeting minutes. She said homes just a mile-and-a-half away have water and others are at much higher elevations than hers.

“I can pretty much tear down anything they say to you,” April Fincher told Lucie.

Damron also told Lucie that there was never an agreement made that he could find in their minutes. The Finchers said that’s not true and plan to take whatever means necessary so they no longer have to haul 600 gallons of water to their home twice a week.



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