By Donna Bain
Pickens County experienced some extremely cold temperatures over the Christmas Holiday weekend that resulted in frozen pipes and water leaks in two areas of the county. Residents on County Road 30 in Ethelsville experienced water outages as well as residents of Reform.
“I know that we had some issues with the Pickens County System,” said Donny Sanders with the Pickens County Water Authority. “I guess last Friday we lost power at one of our tanks and had to draw from another tank, and we had some leaks because of the cold. We couldn’t catch up with the pump from the other tank to get the McShan tank full. McShan Lumber Company had a major blowout over the weekend, and that drained some more water from our system. Most people had water running the last three or four days to keep it from freezing, and that was a drain on the system as well. My team is working as hard as they can to be sure that the people that are served by the Pickens County Water Authority are with water, and we will have them back with water just as quick as we possibly can.”
Residents on County Road 30 were frustrated with their situation.
“The problem in this area is there is no communication,” said Alice Lawrence, a resident on County Road 30. “We lost water Monday night. There are other people who live close to me that haven’t had water in several days. When I got into the shower, I had not but a trickle of water. We were thinking it was our pipe system that was frozen, but what had happened is the county had cut our water off. If we had some notice, we could have been prepared. My frustration was not, not having the water, but that we were not informed of anything. We called 911, the Sheriff’s Department and the Water Authority. We could not find anybody that could help us. I would like to thank Donny Sanders for talking to me twice, and he answered on the first ring when I finally figured out who to call. I would like to thank him for his time and for calling me back.”
“We didn’t have any water at Christmas,” said Linda P. Langford who lives on County Road 30 in the Forest Community. “We finally got some water yesterday. I tried to call everybody, and nobody would answer the phone at Pickens County Water. I’d like to have some water pressure. There is enough trickle to take a shower, but I can’t wash clothes. It’s a very big inconvenience.”
People in the city of Reform have also been without water over Christmas. Rural Water from Montgomery is here trying to help fix their problems.
“Before the holidays, when the weather got down in the teens, we had our pipes to freeze,” said Mayor Melody Davis of Reform. “What they are doing now is my team and a team out of Montgomery called Rural Water came down with their equipment to try to help us find these leaks. Finding these leaks is like finding a needle in a haystack because our mapping is not quite where it needs to be on the lines. So, they are covering areas that are not on the map. They have found and repaired several lines; however, the lines that they repaired are not making the tank rise to the capacity level it needs to in order to turn the pumps back on. When the pumps are on, then it flows to the high elevation areas that are on the outskirts. The plan of action is to get them fixed, so we can get this tank back to where it needs to be.”
Ron Bolton, the District Representative, has been bringing water to Reform for the Mayor to give to the residents.
As of now, city officials in Reform do not have a specific time when the water is expected to be back on.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.