TALBOT COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL)— For nearly three years now select Talbot County residents have been wondering when their water would cut out. Today, Oct. 10, the county shared what they are doing to remedy the outage.

Talbot County Assistant Manager Ronnie Hendricks says he and engineers with Quigley and Peoples Incorporated went to work to pinpoint the issue causing sporadic water outages for select residents of Oak Mountain Estates. Their tests pointed to faulty hardware.

“We went out and we tested where we have backflow preventers and some of our pressure reduction valves. We found that a couple of them were faulty, and it was allowing the water to drain out of the Oak Mountain tanks and back into the system,” Hendricks said.

Monday, Oct. 3 residents shared when the Oak Mountain tank went below 25% PSI they would have no water—a pattern that typically would recur on Monday’s.

“This water issues been going on more than three years,” Oak Mountain Estates HOA President Teresa McCool said. “They were able to get some temporary fix with installing some valves. Today is the first Monday that we have had water in months and months. So, it’s a positive thing, but it’s a temporary fix.”

Their temporary fix kept water running and the PSI up all weekend.

“Once we put the new check valve in place, which is the backflow, that stopped that and we closed the PRV, the pressure reduction valve. So that prevented the water from flowing out of the tank and into the rest of the system,” Hendricks said. “Now everything is feeding at Oak Mountain, and it has been fine. It was over 90% all weekend.”

Last Monday residents also requested the county provide drinking water, an updated contract with the City of Manchester Water Department, and financial cuts from their water bill they continue to pay to Talbot County despite not having consistent water. Thursday, Oct. 6 they received an answer to one of those requests.

Talbot County Emergency Management Agency Director Leigh Ann Erenheim and Alfonsus Pyneburg delivered five pallets filled with bottled water all provided by a private donor.

“We were able to get drinking water donated through the E.M.A. Department and so that was a great thing to have drinking water. So, we’re moving somewhat in the right direction,” McCool said. This was another temporary fix as residents await a long-term solution.

Currently there is only one main water line that feeds the Oak Mountain water tanks. Hendricks shares the county is working with engineers to come up with a plan to upgrade the existing water line and add another line from the water treatment plant as a backup measure if the main line goes out. He says this additional line will also improve the pump capability of the water tanks for a more permanent solution.

This temporary fix is proving to be effective; however, there is more work set for the future pending approval from the Commissioners Board.

Hendricks also says the engineers have a drafted response to the letter of noncompliance filed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division. The county has until Friday, Oct. 28 to submit their final draft. That initial letter and previous report has been linked below.

Previous Coverage

Oct. 3, 2020: Oak Mountain Estates residents facing sporadic water issues

Oct. 10, 2022: Additional Reports