March 4, 2021

BREAKING VIEWS: Irate citizen rants about local water authority

(Disclaimer: The following submitted article does not reflect the views or opinions of The Heard Citizen, its staff, or its sponsors, and is solely the opinion of the individual writer)

To Whom It May Concern:

It is not unusual in this day and age to see folks complaining on the internet. I mean it has basically become like a sport to try and complain as often as possible about every little thing that goes wrong in a person’s life — but recently I have seen some complaints about the local water authority utility.

This is one common complaint that I just don’t understand? I mean I’m sure just like every single public utility and every single business in the world our water authority probably has issues from time to time — perhaps some that are avoidable — and for certain many that are completely unavoidable, but to those that complain I guess I just don’t understand why you do?

In my opinion the water utility is BY FAR the best value of all of the utilities. I mean just think about it for a minute. After you pay a small 14.95 fee each month for your base rate they only charge you about $6 per 1000 gallons of water. So essentially you can get a whole 1000 gallons of water delivered not just to your home but to several different rooms in your home and all you have to do is turn a handle to have it immediately.

Just think to yourself for a moment about the personnel, infrastructure and facilities it takes to make the water from a creek into water that you can drink? and yes it is very drinkable — I only drink tap water at home and it doesn’t taste like anything which is a great quality when it comes to water. And then on top of making it drinkable they then have to deliver it right to your house. Are we just that spoiled today that we can’t appreciate that at all?

I mean imagine trying to go buy some water somewhere else how much you’d pay? Imagine if you had to get water at Walmart each month like you do other things. Imagine trying to go pick up 1000 gallons of water and bringing it home. At an arena for a concert or sporting event you might pay $5-7 for a single bottle of water and they won’t even let you keep the freaking bottle! I mean just think about that people!

Also remember it’s a FREE country. You don’t HAVE to get water this way. You have a choice! You can dig your own well as a matter of fact if you are that unhappy with public water!

Heck, the water authority also provides sewer for some customers which is also a big deal. I saw someone with a question about the cost of the sewage bill and a guy quipped in that “Sh*t’s Expensive!” He was trying to be funny but it is actually so very true. Imagine trying to dispose of your own waste? It wasn’t that long ago that we did have to do that. Do you complainers want to go back to having an outhouse in the backyard?

Don’t ever forget that other than air, water is the single most important thing in our lives. Have you not watched a television survival show before? It always gets real in a big way if the participants don’t have good drinking water. They call it “Naked and Afraid,” but “Naked and Dehydrated” would probably be much more accurate. Speaking of television imagine how much you pay for cable which is completely unnecessary to your survival!

I think the old saying is three minutes without air, three days without water, and three days without food. Does your $115 per month cable get a mention in that old saying? Hell no it doesn’t! Does your $100 cell phone bill get a mention in that old saying? Hell no it doesn’t! How about your power bill I mean it is literally hundreds of dollars this time of year but it still does not get a mention!

Water doesn’t get a lot of recognition and respect, but in reality is actually very damned important in your first world life!

You drink it… you bathe in it… you wash your clothes in it, you wash your car… you water your precious plants — I mean really stop and think about it for just one minute!

Imagine a water authority versus no water authority the next time your house is on fire! Can they bring enough water on the fire truck to save you and your home? Could they hook up the hose to your well? Probably not so you best be thankful when that public fire hydrant saves your life!

I guess the comments that bother me most are the ones about the people that work there. In full disclosure I am likely more sensitive to these because my own sweet mama (rest her soul) worked at the water authority when it first opened way back in 1990. I know from observing her after she got home from work each day that dealing with the public can be very stressful. I can’t accurately say my mama smoked cigarettes because because of this stress… lol… but I can certainly at least say she smoked MORE cigarettes because of some of her unappreciative customers.

I think it is so easy for these folks to rant about the water authority because they don’t generally think of it as a group of people which is in reality what it actually is. I know some of them and they are quite simply just great people that don’t make a ton of money at all.

Most of these employees are just good Heard County people that for one reason or another may just need their job to be closer to home for a myriad of reasons — mostly because it is easier to take care of their families. And the board members are also just local people trying their best to serve the community.

The bottom line is the expense and infrastructure required to bring water to such a small population presents many challenges. I mean it is easy to get people excited about spending our tax dollars on fancy buildings, schools and playgrounds but nobody really gets excited about building a ‘sexy new water reservoir’ or replacing outdated piping.

I will say that maybe the naming of our utility might be one place where the water authority did go wrong? I mean we all know people naturally hate authority right? Perhaps they should rename it the Heard County Water System, or The Heard County Water Department, or even just the Heard County Water Company? Maybe that would help? I don’t know.

Like I said I am sure everything at our water authority is not perfect but I just want everyone over there to know that there are many of us out here that do appreciate you and appreciate the great deal you provide to us on our clean and necessary water that keeps us alive and clean on a daily basis!

Thanks to everyone for taking time to read and hear my own personal opinion!

Russ Massa


  1. Patty Jiles says

    Thank you Russ.
    Patty Jiles, Former Heard Co Water Authority employee and current Heard County Water Authority Board Member.

  2. Rick Gore says

    Awesome thank you

  3. Mona Johnson says

    Thanks Russ! I agree with you totally and I don’t believe that anyone else could have said that any better. And the funny thing is I am on a well. I don’t even use the Water AUTHORITY!

  4. Alvin Ginn says

    Thanks Russ! Your objectivity is admirable. We do have good water authority employees doing the best they can (in my opinion 99% of the time).

  5. Michael McClain says

    Thank you Russ. I’m a current Heard County Water Authority employee and distribution supervisor. Just like any job, there are good days, and there bad days. However, the one thing that is certain is us guys in the field spend more time together insuring safe, good quality water make it to our customers than we spend with our own family.

  6. There is some good people working for the water authority and some bad especially years ago in the beginning. I lived between old field road and the bingo parlor and I couldn’t get water service. It still isn’t available today! I begged every water authority employee I came into contact with trying to get some one to run a water line in front of our house, it was only a waste of my words and time. Some were very friendly some were very RUDE. I don’t remember the guy’s name that was over the water authority about 15-16 years ago but he finally told me he would run a 2 or 3 inch line to my driveway. The only problem was I had to pay around 5-7 thousand of my own money to pay for for the line. I then asked him if my water would be free for the expense that I would have to shell out. I wasn’t wanting it for free forever but just long enough to recoup my cost. With a loud NO!!!! was his reply.
    Like you said it is a good value to have a water line to hook up to, but it is a lost cause for anyone unless you meet their stupid requirements. I have no use for the water authority in franklin. I had lived in heard county all my 59 years.
    I eventually moved out of heard county and never looked back.

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