Houston County Water Supply

By: Lisa Blackwell Email
By: Lisa Blackwell Email

Some Houston County residents are at a high risk of having their homes completely destroyed by fire.

That’s because there's not enough water lines throughout the county for firefighters to access water.

Tuesday's fire in Rehobeth burned the house to the ground because firefighters had to make round trips to hydrants located over a mile away.

Wednesday, we spoke with officials about progress with a plan to extend water lines to other areas of the county.

If you live in rural Houston County, you may lose your house to a fire if there isn't a hydrant nearby.

There is a long range plan to extend the water lines, but completion is estimated to be a decade away.

Two large-scale water extension projects are expected to get underway within the next two years.

Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver said, “We've got well over a $2 million dollar project with the city of Dothan. We also have a big project with the town of Taylor and with Ashford. So, we know we need water there and it's just a matter of producing the funds to get it done.”

Funding is a major roadblock. The county provides some of the financing, but they rely on the water systems themselves for money and they're hoping for federal funding.

“We are doing everything we can to pursue grants,” Culver continued. “What we're looking at over in Ashford is over $400,000 and a significant amount of that will be from a grant if we're able to get it.”

The plans for county residents don't include some city residents that currently don't have a water line nearby.

Deputy Chief John Parrish, of Rehobeth Fire and Rescue said, “We will have problems in the areas where the Houston County water expansion is going to take place. If they do not cover every road with fire hydrants it will hamper our fire fighting capabilities and maintaining our insurance.”

It’s something to keep in mind whether you're a resident or looking to buy a home in Houston County.

Culver says providing water throughout the county is a top priority for the commission.

He says due to well contaminant issues, he's confident that they will obtain federal funds this year.

The Dothan, Taylor and Ashford area water extensions are expected to cost nearly $6 million dollars.

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