Three different couples approached the Fannin County Water Authority (FCWA) to request that the FCWA intervene with their water service provider Appalachian Water. Deer Crest Overlook and Weaver Creek Mountain Property are connected to two congested wells in the area.
The issue here, is that these wells are only supposed to supply between 10-15 houses and now both wells are connected to over 60 homes—some full-time residents, some rentals, and some seasonal homes. Due to an influx of people residing in the area, around the beginning of July every year the full-time residents lose access to water for five or six days due to the failing of these water sources.
Water is being charged between thirty and forty dollars a month. It’s been said that once someone charges for water, the water must be tested regularly for contaminants and to ensure that the water is drinkable.
Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss asked, “Okay, what we have to know before you guys can do anything is who owns the well, if the people that own the well are the same as the people who own the system, what kind of right-aways you have or don’t have. Do y’all pay somebody monthly?”
All three couples answered, “Yes. We pay Appalachian Water.”
Doss then replied, “Well the question is are you paying for water? Are you paying for water and service? Are you paying for water, service, and maintenance? Because until you have those questions answered we wouldn’t even know if we could start to help you.”
Local resident Bob Flanders responded, “We pay for water. There is no maintenance fee.”
FCWA Vice Chairman Larry Chapman then replied, “My question, too, is that if they have Deer Crest on there now and it’s across the street then, I mean, have they done this legally? Because if they hadn’t contacted Environmental Protection Division (EPD) about this—when you add customers on a small system like this usually the biggest thing is storage. You’ll have a well that’s 20-30 gallons per minute and you have to adjust the storage, it’ll put out the water to treat ‘em but you got to have the storage, so it does it 24 hours a day 7 days a week.”
In the end, the FCWA instructed the residents to contact the health department and EPD so that they can follow the proper channels to getting their water issues fixed. FCWA explained that they cannot get involved unless they are instructed to do so.