Update: According to a release, as of 4:30 p.m., water service has been restored to 100% of Bristol Bluff City Utility District and 90% of South Fork Utility District customers who were affected by the service disruption.

However, South Fork customers in higher elevations may still be without water as storage tanks are being refilled and air within water lines is bled off.


BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — A South Fork Utility District (SFUD) customer who was without water service from mid-morning Thursday into Friday said he and his neighbors are disappointed with the level of communication they’ve received about it.

Allen Pressley, who lives on Lewis Road, told News Channel 11 he was showering around 8:30 or 9 Thursday morning when the water pressure dropped, and eventually, there was no water.

The cause was infrastructure work by Bristol Bluff City Utility District (BBCUD), which supplies water to SFUD, but Pressley didn’t know that until a News Channel 11 representative told him.

“They actually told me that they were working on a line somewhere,” Pressley said about reaching a representative from SFUD Thursday. “She couldn’t tell me where or when it might be back on.”

News Channel 11 contacted BBCUD and was told to call Tony Treadway at public relations firm Creative Energy. Treadway said he first heard about the issue Friday morning and was compiling details for a news release.

Treadway sent a release at 11 a.m. in which BBCUD issued “apologies for the service disruption and inconvenience to customers affected by the temporary outage.”

The release said an outage that also affected BBCUD customers in the Pleasant Grove Road service area occurred when crews were installing an enhanced water meter to serve SFUD and “a break near the meter caused the outage.”

The release stated repairs were nearly complete and service would be restored gradually throughout the afternoon to ensure air is removed from the lines. All customers should have water by late Friday afternoon.

Pressley said affected customers hadn’t been able to get through to SFUD since late Thursday afternoon and weren’t informed of the BBCUD connection.

“Our main concern and I think that of everyone else around here is just, ‘let us know what’s going on,'” Pressley said.

A recent Tennessee Comptrollers Office (TCO) investigation found irregularities at SFUD and recommended the utility merge with BBCUD, which itself has been ruled financially distressed. SFUD first announced in April it would complete a merger but later declined to follow through.

A state hearing on SFUD’s future is set for next month.