Eastern Ky. county struggling with water shortage

January 13, 2018 GMT

INEZ, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky county is conserving water by shutting it off to residents at night, but some have been without running water for days.

About 1,000 people in Martin County were without water for a fifth day on Friday, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported .

The water district began shutting off water to many customers at night on Monday. The district is struggling financially, and the shutoffs continued into Saturday.


Kathy Jude, who lives in Martin County, told the newspaper her husband’s grandfather has been without running water since Monday. She says she has had to use bottled water to bath him.

The water district said in a statement Friday that the main cause of the shortage is a decrease in customers, meaning less revenue for repairs of the failing infrastructure.

“Our financial status, to put it simply, is bleak,” the officials said the statement, which was posted on Facebook. The water district said its monthly expenses exceed revenue by 40 percent. The district is losing about 50 percent of the water it produces “through pipe breaks, service line leaks and failing meters.”

“The financial condition is so serious, the Martin County Water District could fail, and we would not just lose water for days, but for an extended period of time,” the officials said.

The shortage has angered some residents. During a recent emergency meeting over the water issues, a frustrated resident was led away by a police officer as he was criticizing the district’s response.

“All I want is for the people of Martin County to have water,” the man, Gary Michael Hunt, told the Herald-Leader. “It’s time to get rid of the crooks. It’s been time for a long time.”

Hunt said he was given a citation and must appear in court, but he wasn’t taken to jail.


Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com