Outside Tyler Miller’s home along West Pace Avenue are signs marking what he said are 51 days without running water. Miller said many on his street relied on a community well for years to supply water to homes.
He received a letter in October from township officials stating the well would be sealed in April, due to no longer meeting Ohio Environmental Protection Agency safety standards and its problematic leaks impacting road conditions. However, Miller said he lost access to water in December.
The letter encourages residents to arrange a new source of water for their properties.
“I understand where they’re coming from, but just the fact that they’ve offered no solution and we’ve been 51 days now without water is, I think, absurd,” said Miller.
Township administrator Anna Bryant said the well is on township property but was always maintained by residents. Bryant said the township did not seal the well ahead of April and it’s possible some of the residents were unknowingly being supplied with water by a neighbor who recently cut them off.
“You take it for granted, you know? I go to wash my hands, and, ‘Oh, I can’t wash my hands,'” said Miller. “I work construction. I work 10 to 12 hours a day. I can’t come home and take a shower. I have to go to my girlfriend’s house or my parent’s house, pretty much. I don’t live here. It’s just something I pay for.”
Miller said he was told by township officials to see if he could reach an agreement with a neighbor and temporarily run a hose to their home for water. However, Miller said his neighbors do not have access to running water either. In the meantime, he fills up containers with water from a hose at a nearby park, boils it and makes do until he can save enough to dig his own well, at the estimated cost of $25,000.
“I’m ashamed of our township,” said Miller. “I think they did a really poor job of taking care of us. They’re our trustees and they have not offered solutions, no help, no assistance.”
Bryant said she is aware of Miller’s situation. The township is in the early stages of researching funding options to possibly use the Akron water supply for the area impacted.