GRUNDY COUNTY (WRCB) -- Living on top of a mountain can have its pros and cons. There are beautiful views, but rain water is the source for drinking water.

"Up on top of the mountain, if it doesn't rain, obviously our lake and reservoirs don't fill up," says Grundy County Mayor Lonnie Cleek.  

Grundy County has three main water stations that serve residents just fine until the rain stops falling.

A couple years ago, a region-wide drought nearly put residents in a panic once the water stations began to dry up. County residents were put on water restrictions.  

"So that's when we went to try and resolve the issue of how do we permanently fix this problem," Cleek says.

Officials first looked at pumping water from the Tennessee River, but later decided to interconnect each water plant with larger lines and better pumping stations.

"It's just whichever utility might be low on water," Cleek says. "We can get water from the other utility so our customers don't have to do without water."

Governor Bill Haslam awarded Grundy County $500,000 to improve the infrastructure. County officials knew exactly how to use it, and even threw in an additional $500,000 from the county's Appalachian Ridge Fund.

"What we're doing now is just one piece of the puzzle, but we anticipate more phases on top of what we're doing now with the interconnect ability," says Cleek.

Cleek hopes to begin the first phase of improvements by Spring.