Cullman County family’s well dries up in drought

CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Many families have felt an impact from the Alabama drought. They’ve had to cut back on watering their lawns, filling up their swimming pools, or face surcharges for excessive use.

However, not many families have felt harsher problems from the drought than the Browns of Cullman County.

Wes Brown, his wife, and their eight-month-old son have been without water at their home for about a month. The Browns live in Crane Hill, and use well water from Sulphur Springs.

“Right now, it’s currently dried up,” Wes said. “We haven’t had water in about a month.”

The family is staying with relatives, hoping the situation will improve. The Browns told CBS42 that they rent the property, and so far, the landowner has been unwilling to make changes.

“We’re learning how to live without water, and that’s almost impossible,” Wes said.

The situation is not nearly as bad for people who use the City of Cullman’s water system. The supply draws from Lake Catoma, which is about sixteen feet below the pull. That’s still well below average for a reservoir which has held thirteen feet above in the past.

The city is now restricting outdoor water use, including landscaping and decorative water features. They’re asking people to hold off on filling up their swimming pools or maintenance chores, at least until there’s more water in the lake.

“Wasteful use of water, of course, is going to drop it at a faster rate, you know, it’s just geometry anyhow,” said Chris Freeman, Cullman Water and Sewer superintendent. “As it’s going down, it’s going, the level in the lake will fall faster the lower it gets.”

He says if the situation worsens, the city will have to impose fines. Right now, they’re trying to avoid that.

Meanwhile, the Browns say they’re looking for a way out of their desperate situation. They want to find someplace else to live, somewhere they’ll have access to clean drinking water.

“We’ve been living with her mom, staying with her mom or her dad, trying to bum a shower any way we can. Trying to smell good,” Brown said.

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