Tara Vreeland, News On 6
KEENTONVILLE, Oklahoma -- Customers in the Keetonville area served by Rogers County Rural Water District #3 are not getting water, so the district has imposed mandatory watering restrictions for all customers.
The district says no watering is allowed at all. The reason is high water usage by the district's Owasso customers.
Rogers County Rural Water District #3 says it is having difficulty maintaining water service to Keetonville on both sides of state Highway 20.
More than 500 people in Keetonville have been without water since Tuesday night.
Rural Water District #3 Manager Rick Stull is pleading with customers to stop watering laws so other customers up the hill in Keetonville can simply have water to drink.
Elaine Paine can't sweat.
"I don't perspire. When it's hot out, I have to spritz myself so my cooling mechanism works," Paine said.
She's also in a wheel chair and deals with several medical problems. But the biggest problem she faces right now is: no water.
"There's nothing. As of 10 o'clock last night there's been nothing," she said.
No water. Paine turned on the faucet, and instead of water - nothing but air.
Meaning Paine can't fill her spritzer bottle, doesn't have water to drink or even a way to flush the toilet.
"I'm going ‘oh my gosh. What are we going to do now?'" said Elaine Paine, a Rural Water District 3 customer with special medical needs.
Rogers County Rural Water District number three is struggling to maintain water service to Keetonville.
The water district's manager says the reason why is the high water usage by the district's water customers.
"This is one of the most serious conditions that this district has ever experienced," said Rick Stull.
Stull says the water pumps are at capacity, and the water towers are not filling up. He says the Keetonville tower has a mere twelve feet in it. It should be at 115 feet.
"By the time I get the water to Keetonville, all the people in this area have used the water," he said.
Leaving almost 200 homes bone dry.
"We can solve the problem if people will stop watering," Stull said.
"Lawns don't matter! They can be replaced. Human lives can't be replaced," water customer Paine said.
Rick Stull says he's buying 2,800 gallons of water per minute from Tulsa and worries even more customers could be without water as the heat wave blazes on.
The rural water district includes customers in Rogers, Mayes and Tulsa counties with customers near the communities of Owasso, Collinsville, Claremore, Chelsea and Foyil.