Oak Ridge, NC -- Residents in Oak Ridge are breathing a sigh of relief, this week, after the state approved a bulk water tanker as a temporary fix to their water supply problems.
Since January, water supply to some 30 people in the area has been spotty and ran out just as often as it was on.
The long standing issue dates back to 1991 when a nearby gas station, in the Oak Ridge Rd., Linville and Cadet Drive area, contaminated the neighborhood wells.
The state built a community well in 1996 for the 10 households affected.
Over the years, people in those homes have gotten married and had kids and now that community well isn't producing enough water for everyone.
Since News 2 started reporting on the supply issue, there seems to be some answers from the state.
This week, engineers are trying to figure out if expanding the well will produce more water.
They spent the last couple of days drilling deeper into the well while the bulk water tanker steadily pumps water into the homes.
"It's amazing," said Michelle Thompson, one neighbor. "[Water is something that] a lot of people take for granted, and when it's not there, man, do you miss it."
Oak Ridge City Councilman Randy Howerton is also affected by the water issue and says it appears his neighbors are happy with the temporary solution.
"And I think they are going to be happy with what the end result will be," he said.
According to the state, if expanding the well doesn't produce more water, engineers have mapped out other possibilities which include tapping into other water sources in the area.
"They are our only hope, if you want to put it that way," Howerton said of the state.
Some of the homeowners say they are cautiously optimistic about the progress after so many months without any answers.
"I'm really glad that we seem to be on track now at this point and I'm pleased with the progress," Thompson added.
Click on the documents below to read more about the work the state has been doing toward this project.
Task Authorization Report