SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - A mountain community in Sevier County has been without water for more than a week and residents say this isn't the first time their water has been shut off.
English Mountain is a resort community about eight miles east of Pigeon Forge.
There are families living there permanently and right now water is a precious commodity. They don't have any, so they're forced either to haul it in or scoop it up.
"We had the dishes up to here, as far as dirty dishes," resident Landra Sims said.
Sims is fed up with having no water at her home. Her dishes have been stacking up for days. In her laundry room, she hasn't been able to wash clothes for more than a week.
There's no water.
"Nothing. Not a drop, it's just bone dry," she said.
She's had to use a cooler from a neighbor for bath water.
"We bathe with soap all over. Then I use a measuring cup to rinse in. It is that bad," she said.
Sims' neighbors, Bill and Betty Bevins, took advantage of the rain last week gushing down their mountain road.
"It was running rapid, so we got water from the ditch," Betty Bevins said.
The ditch is dry now, and with no water in their home, the rain water came in handy.
"It was good water," she said. "It did real well to flush toilets."
Water in many homes stopped running without warning last week from the utility company. The East Sevier County Utility District supplies the drinking and sewer water.
"This is our bucket that we take out of the tub and put in the tank," Sims showed 6 On Your Side. "My husband has been using the bucket to go across the street in the ditch to get water to flush toilets."
Leaking pipes have been the problem on all over the mountain.
Martin Sims says the water at his home has been off more times than he can count, but never this long.
"We've lost water quite a bit since we've been here, but some have lost it more than we have," he said.
Bill Bevins, a contractor, built the homes in this neighborhood.
"There are water lines for every house," he said.
He says the lines from the street to the homes are okay. The problem is up the mountain.
Less than half a mile away up the mountain, we found utility workers from the East Sevier District working on a line.
"We're going to put the valve in so we can get the people who live on this street some water. They've been without water for a while, yes, we've been working on it. It's been a rough week," said Chad Loveday, the general manager of the utility district.
"I think it's criminal to be without water this many days in a subdivision that should have water and sewer," Betty Bevins said.
"I understand the pipes were put in back in the 70s and they weren't put in right," Martin Sims told 6 On Your Side.
Maybe this fix to the system will get the water flowing again, giving families here a chance to take a bath in real water, not water pulled from a ditch running off the mountain.
On Wednesday, the utility district said bottled water provided by the Red Cross has been dropped off to the Sevier County emergency management office.
Those jugs of water were being dropped off to families who have no water Wednesday afternoon.
In the meantime, the utility district says it's not sure when water will be permanently restored to the area, they can't find the leaks.
Every effort is being made, they say, to temporarily restore water.
So, it's going to be a while yet before some homes in English Mountain have their water flowing again.
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