12 years later: Rural Cleveland County residents get access to clean water
by Keaton Fox, originally posted on September 15, 2016
LEXINGTON, Okla. (KOKH) — In Lexington, some living here would turn the faucet and nothing would come out.
When something did emerge, it likely was discolored and undrinkable.
“Washing your dishes to washing your hands. You just hope that every time you turn that faucet on that it’s still going to come on and sometimes it doesn’t,” Ryan Madden told Fox 25 in May 2015.
“No laundry, ever. We just, no dishwasher, I have hauled water over to boil and do dishes before because I was afraid to use the water. It’s just hard,” Tammy Henson said.
It’s been a fight, but a new plan to sell fresh, clean drinking water to these rural Oklahomans is now very close to becoming a reality.
State Rep. Bobby Cleveland wrote and got legislation passed in the last legislative session that would allow the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife to sell water to the water district in the area. A plan to get water from the nearby prison didn’t work out, Cleveland said.
“It is really an amazing story here,” Cleveland said. “We’re less than an hour from the state Capitol,” and didn’t have fresh water, Cleveland added.
“It’s finally done, complete, over,” Cleveland added.