Living Along a River Without Running Water...

JULY 5, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:30 P.M. CDT

SHARP COUNTY, AR -- Some residents along Spring River seem to have a problem. They live along a river, but can't seem to get any water to their homes. A problem that seems fairly ironic for a town that thrives off the river that runs through it.

The first Christmas in 2000, I was up here for about 10 days and no water," says Marlene Miller, a resident living along Spring River.

Little did these residents know that they would continue to fight to have running water. Nearly 13 months ago, Samuel Oakley and his wife moved to Arkansas from California hoping to enjoy their retirement. Instead, they've experienced 14 water outages and can't get any help from their water providers.

"It's owned by Biggers Bluff Water Corporation which is owned by Wayne Watkins' Spring River Beach Club. His water man is Clifton Johnson. We contact them on the water situation and we don't get any answers," says Samuel Oakley, one of many residents with water troubles.

"We've tried to get help. We went to the city council. They can't help because even though they sell the water to Biggers Bluff Water Corporation, they're only responsible that far. From there on it has to be the local system and there's no response from those folks at all," says Marlene Miller.

They all say the problem isn't paying the bills.

"We pay our water bills and we don't have water. We gotta go buy more water at the store. That's just added expense that we don't need," says Miller.

Some of the residents own Biggers Bed and Breakfast and say they've lost a considerable amount of their business during their busiest season, all because of the lack of water.

The residents say they're fed up and want answers, and since they aren't getting any at the local level, they've taken it to the state. They just formally filed a complaint with the state Attorney Generals Office, and are waiting for a response to rid this headache of a problem.

"I bought a pond down here that has water in it so we can dip out to even flush the toilets. As far as drinking, we have to go buy that and for showers, we've had to go to my mother-in-laws house to do that," says Samuel Oakley.

Burton Cook and the owners of the bed and breakfast decided to take matters into their own hands, shoveling out dirt and thousands of dollars.

"We'd gone to Clifton after that first water outage. Me and Dave up at the bed and breakfast and offered to buy him a new pump and he turned us down. He said he didn't need our money, so he's still got his old broke down pump a month later. So we made up our mind then that we were going to dig our own wells," says Burton Cook, who was forced to make his own water well.

After trying for over a month to get some answers, the residents seem to have a problem that's at a stand still. Their ironically are still without water.

We tried to contact the Biggers Bluff Water Corporation, but were unable to speak with anyone regarding the issue.