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Spotty water service causes frustration in Sevier County community

In 2015, Patricia Rogers said she didn't know whether she would be able to get water every day. Five years later, Rogers said nothing has changed.

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — The Tennessee Comptroller's Office is investigating the East Sevier County Utility District because the utility is not providing water consistently to its customers, documents show. 

People who live in the English Mountain region of Sevier County said for 129 days in 2021, someone on English Mountain didn't have running water at their house. 

"You never know from one day to the next if you're going to have water or not," Patricia Rogers said. 

Rogers said when she does have water, it can be dirty, and she doesn't trust it coming out of her faucet. 

"If you take a shower in it, you look just as dirty as you did before you got in," said Jerry Hayes, Rogers's neighbor. "You would think we're in a third world country." 

In 2017, both Rogers and Hayes told 10News about their difficulties getting water to their houses consistently. Five years later, both said nothing has changed. 

"The folks in Jackson, Mississippi have been fighting because of their water situation," Hayes said. "That's what we go through year-round." 

Rogers said she and her husband go to the community center or a truck stop to take showers. She said she drives her laundry to Sevierville, almost 20 miles away, because the water at her house has ruined her clothes. 

At their house, built in their late son's honor, Rogers said she and her husband collect rainwater for their toilet and buy 5 or 6 cases of water every week for showers and cooking. 

"Don't ever take it for granted that you're going to always have water," Rogers said. "Because we don't hardly ever have water." 

The Comptroller's office said it should have an update on the investigation in December. 

"We're not asking for much," Rogers said. "We're just asking for water. That's all."

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