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Water problems seem to have dried up

County emergency managers have planned winter drought assistance, although townships now seem free of water problems.

Monday, November 22, 1999

County emergency managers have planned winter drought assistance, although townships now seem free of water problems.

"There is no immediate need," 911 and Emergency Management Agency director Don Mootz said. "I don’t know of anyone out there who’s doing without."

Residents who suffered from dry wells this summer have not called for assistance in the last few weeks and the county has only three of four bulk water tanks in the community now, which are seeing light use if any, Mootz said.

"There’s a feeling from the township trustees that some of the water problems have been relieved with the rain and cooler weather," EMA deputy director Mike Boster said.

Still, concerns remain in areas like Painter Creek and Negro Creek in Decatur, and in Symmes where wells are still not good enough to use, Boster said.

Creek levels remain down and the water table remains shallow, too, Mootz said.

To meet needs in such areas, and to prepare for a possible emergency next year, public water line taps have been identified and one has been installed, he said.

A tap supplied by Gallia County’s water system will be available for filling jugs and will be managed by officials, Mootz said.

The EMA also found existing taps in town halls and other public buildings, as well as at Ellisonville Park, in case of an emergency, Boster said.

"In the event we do have dry wells again, people can call us and we will direct them to where they can get water," Mootz said.

That plan is slightly different than what officials had expected earlier this summer after applying for a state emergency assistance grant.

The grant can fund frost-free water taps, and can help pay for water, but has not yet won approval.

Instead, the request to fund public water taps was added to a Hecla Water grant water line application, Boster said.

If approved, the grant would fund certain sites for frost-free taps as lines are installed but not pay for water, he said.

However, no grant is set in stone, Boster added.

Meanwhile, considering past weather patterns, county residents might face more water shortages in the coming summer, he said.

"If we have normal precipitation through the winter, we’re OK as far as water distribution," he said. "If not, next spring and summer the county could face a similar drought situation as this year’s."

Boster agreed, adding that, traditionally, December has been a dry month, so the potential is still there.

"Then again, we might be due another big snowstorm," he said.