Residents with No County Water Rely on Wells | News
In the southern part of Jones County, there are about 1,000 people living off Hwy 49 from Pitts Chapel to Hwy 18 who do not have county water.
They rely on wells.
"My great grandmother, she passed away ten years ago. She was 94. Never had running water out here," says Ken Harrell who has lived in Gray for a little over 20 years.
He struck liquid gold in only two tries. "The first well I drilled was actually dry and all that expense, I think it was 600 feet deep and all we got was surface water that had a bad foul smell to it. We had to drill a second time and got luckier and got a pretty good water supply."
Drilling takes a lot of luck, Harrell says it took his mother a dozen tries to dig a reliable water source.
The rock in the ground is so hard it makes the land dry. That's because there are no fractures or fissures in the granite for moisture to travel through the rocks.
"They're having to haul water. Some buy water and bring it home and some take five gallon jugs and as many as they can carry in a vehicle and fill them up and bring them home," says Jones County Commissioner Tommy Robinson.
Others are like the Harrell family with a well that's about 250 feet deep.
"We don't really have to bring it in. We have a tank that's under the house. We just turn on the faucet and it's like what you have in the city," says Harrell.
Wells are expensive to maintain because it's dependent on electricity.
"Thats probably the biggest thing. You're trying to go to work, you can't get a shower because the powers out. You have to find an alternate way to shower," Harrell says. "Other family members that have running water at the time or a motel. That's the only option."
Jones County Commissioners are surveying residents to target the problems in surrounding areas.
Residents might see change after the next SPLOST is passed in 2015.