State line residents desperate for clean drinking water - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

State line residents desperate for clean drinking water

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DADE COUNTY/MARION COUNTY (WRCB) - Residents of a neighborhood on the Georgia - Tennessee line, are stuck using water from homemade creek pumps and wells, with a constant worry about its safety. Now they're pushing officials from both states to work together to dig a water line from one state to the next, under Interstate 24 to provide them quality water.

"It's important to us for everybody to have safe drinking water. This is really a different situation in that we have residents in our state, but it's a mile into another state to get to them," Dade County Water General Manager Douglas Anderton said.

It makes for a muddy situation for Angel Dagnan's family. They bought a house on the Georgia side of Egypt Hollow Road two months ago.

"This is our foot valve. It has to stay under the water in order for it to pump up to the house," Dade County resident Angel Dagnan said.

Like the other handful of Dade County houses there, they get water by running pumps from a spring. She says there are constant issues with flooding and pumps failing. More than the inconvenience, she's concerned for their safety.

"It looks like a fresh water spring and it's really not," Dagnan said.

After closing on the house, the mortgage company ran water tests revealing it's contaminated-- likely by bat colonies in the caves where the water travels from.

"We didn't know about the E. coli until after we'd bought the house," Dagnan said.

They boil it for cooking and only drink bottled water, but with three small children, she stays worried about the health risk.

"Constantly having to tell my children don't brush your teeth in the sink, brush your teeth with a water bottle. Keep your mouth closed when you're in the bath tub. Don't open your eyes or mouth in the shower. I just worry about those things constantly," Dagnan said.

"We're just hung out to dry in this little hollow," Marion County resident Debbie Kennedy said.

On the Marion County, Tennessee side, most residents have wells.

"Our wells just don't get it no more. A lot of people get sick from using the water," Kennedy said.

She says every time it rains, mud gets in their water.

"Ice maker in the refrigerator, we have to turn that off because I don't like muddy ice," Kennedy said.

Marion County and Jasper City officials told Channel 3 they do want to help and are working on partnering with Dade County to figure out an affordable way to install a water line.

Tuesday representatives from Georgia Environmental Protection Division came out, but said they can't do anything because it takes more houses there to meet their definition of a "public water source."

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