[Jacob Motta | WOUB]

Hundreds of Vinton County residents still lack water as officials work on a new solution

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McArthur, Ohio (WOUB) — For more than a decade, Jim Aders has hauled 1,800 gallons of water a month back to his home to supply himself, and his wife with the water they need.

Just a quarter mile down the road from Aders’ house is a water line, but Vinton County doesn’t have the funds to run the line to his and many other homes in the area. 

“I’ve hauled water for 12 years now, and we’ve lived down here permanently for 12 years,” said Ader, who is 78. “The county water is at the end of our road, but they won’t bring it back because it costs too much.” 

The county applied for funding in May to run new water lines to residents who did not have access to water at all or had wells that are constantly going dry. It didn’t get the money, leaving hundreds of residents still without access to water at their homes.

Many of these residents are driving into town to load and haul massive amounts of water back to their homes from vending stations.

“It’s just … frustrating because nobody has done anything to get it done,” Aders said. 

A man stands in the back of a truck waiting on a water tank to fill up at a filling station in Vinton County
[Jacob Motta | WOUB]
Vinton County officials have found new hope submitting an application to the Appalachian Regional Commission asking them to step in and help. Vinton County Director of Development Terri Fetherolf said there is a new plan of attack. 


The new plan will consist of building main water lines out to homes on roads such as Garrett Ridge to supply residents with reliable water. The new lines could be expanded in the future to supply other homes in the area.

Also, Jackson County Water is expanding farther out from its home base. The new plan would allow it to benefit by strengthening its water lines that serve the southwest part of Vinton County.

“There would be another about 127 homes whose home systems or at least the line out by the road would be updated so that it would have sufficient capacity,” Fetherolf said about the new multi-prong plan.

However, the plan is not achievable without the much-needed funding.

Aders isn’t sure he can wait much longer. “No, as a matter of fact, I’m thinking seriously about just going ahead and having someone come out and drill a well, so I will have enough water because the county, the township has not — they’re trying but nobody’s succeeding.”

Vinton County is still waiting on a response back on the application submitted to the Appalachian Regional Commission.