Residents of Harnett County are trying to beat the heat like everyone else, but they're having more difficulty than most because of a shortage of water. As many as 10,000 people have to cope with low water pressure and, at times, no water at all. Residents are running out of patience with the county water system, which has responded with a ban on outdoor water usage.
Harnett County homeowner Gloria Lux says ordinary chores have come to require extra efforts on a daily basis. Listen toauorReal Audiofile.
Despite her water problems, Lux says she has gotten soaked with her water bill. It came to $184 this month. She's been monitoring her meter since Friday.
Next door to Lux, James Warlick says he has had trouble tapping enought water for his horses, not to mention his family. Listen toauorReal Audiofile.
In some places, there is plenty of water, and some people are using it outdoors, even though local fire departments are pushing for voluntary conservation. Bonita Hale of Spout Springs Emergency Services says there could be trouble if people don't conserve. Listen toauorReal Audiofile.
Lately there's been too little rain and too much water consumption. In addition, the water system is stretched because of explosive development in the southern part of the county.
Warlick says the county is pushing development without consideration for the strain on Harnett's water supply.
The county is spending $17 million to upgrade its system, but the work won't be completed until next summer. In order to get through the current shortage, there has been a countywide ban imposed on outdoor water usage such as watering lawns and gardens, filling swimming pools, and washing cars.
Authorities hope if everyone cooperates, the crisis could ease by this weekend.
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