BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – After some Sullivan County water customers went a day without service, a county commissioner is calling on a utility district to better communicate.
Commissioner Hershel Glover said much of his district was without water from Thursday to Friday. He said customers in the Bristol Bluff City and South Fork Utility Districts were not notified of the outage until late Friday morning.
“I got some calls this morning that their water had been off, started yesterday about 11,” Glover said.
The outage was caused by a break during the installation of an enhanced water meter in the Pleasant Grove Road area near Bluff City.
Bristol Bluff City Utility District was working on the meter, which serves South Fork Utility District customers.
Glover said customers should have been notified Thursday after the break happened instead of leaving customers without any explanation as to why service was out or when it would be restored.
“The upgrade probably needed to be done, but the frustrating part is that no one was notified in a timely manner so they could put some water back or have some water on hand if something happened,” Glover said.
As of Friday afternoon, service had been restored to all Bristol Bluff City customers and 90% of South Fork customers.
But Glover said the lack of timeliness could have had a negative impact on customers.
“You have folks in this area that have a lot of livestock. That’s the only means that some of them to water their cattle, their horses,” Glover said. “Lot of folks in this area, that’s older folks and probably didn’t have any means of getting out and getting water for their usage.”
South Fork Utility District has faced its fair share of issues in the past year, but Glover said they had nothing to do with the service outage.
A state comptroller investigation found irregularities in the administration and led to the resignation of some of the utility district’s commissioners.
County commissioners have no control over utility districts, but Glover said names had been submitted to refill some of South Fork’s open positions.
“I do think that there were some names presented to the mayor a couple weeks ago of some folks to step in and take the place of some of the ones that been removed or resigned,” Glover said.
Glover said he would be contacting Bristol Bluff City Utility District to make sure the communication issue does not happen again.