Significant Amount Of Rain Needed To Help With Local Water Issues, Officials Say

GREENWOOD (KFSM) -- Water officials in Greenwood and surrounding areas said a significant amount of rain is needed in order to help water levels and the smell and taste many residents are complaining about.

"We've always off and on had issues with the water supply," Delma Faye Hicks, resident said. "It gets low and it does get to smelling and stinking where you cannot drink it and it's at that point now."

For more than a month, residents in Greenwood and surrounding towns have had to deal with stinky water.

The James Fork Regional Water District supplies that water and said the water levels are to blame.

"Our reservoir right now is at the lowest it has ever been and I've been here 30 years," Donnie Sandifer, general mangager said. "We're down approximately 14 feet, going on 15 feet."

Residents told 5NEWS that they have seen water issues in the past.

"They say the lake turns over twice a year," Hicks said. "The bottom comes to the top of the surface and that's where the smell and the taste comes from."

Officials said the water is clean and safe to drink,  but the smell and taste are not so pleasing to residents.

"When it gets to this point, I do not drink it," Hicks said. "I buy bottled and gallon water."

If the area gets a significant amount of rain soon, that should help the issue according to water officials, but if the drought continues, officials said they could be looking at rationing the supply.

"If we don't get some rain this spring to really bring us up, there will probably have to be some negotiation between us and people we furnish water to to try to help us," Sandifer said. "Hopefully that doesn't happen, but that's the worst case scenario."

Sandifer said right now, no rationing will have to be done. At this point, he said they're simply at the mercy of mother nature while they wait for rain.

Those with the James Fork Regional Water District aid they've tried switching the intake system and using different chemicals to get rid of the odor and taste of the water, but that hasn't worked. The company said it's doing everything it can at this time.