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Another community without running water

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some may find it difficult to believe, but there are homes in northwest Jacksonville that are not connected to the city's water system. There is no potable running water in the area.

"We need it over here," said Hubert Cox. "We need it."

A decade ago, Cox, a small business owner, launched a petition to get the city to bring running water to the residents along U.S. 1 North.

"It is pretty bad," he said. "Sometimes we have to use bleach to make sure it is okay."

The now has plans to interconnect the water lines from Borden Street to Trout River Boulevard. Cox said in his barbershop the subject is a sore point.

"It is critical," said Cox. "There is no decent water to drink."

Cox has running water to his business because it is connected to a nearby church which is tied in to a city water line a couple of blocks away from the interstate.

Jacqueline Lowers lives in a house along U.S. 1. She's been there five years and said when she turns on the faucet, tap water is not the only thing that's coming out.

"It smells really bad," she said. "When we have guests, they say 'don't you have to boil the water first?' It smells like rotten eggs."

The area is represented by Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Brown.

"We have omitted this are for years," said Brown. "That is a tragedy."

Brown said the improvements are long overdue and is now working on legislation to get a project started.

"This is a major highway that runs through our city," said Brown. "We should be outraged."

He said he has $1.3 million in his budget to get it started and he's asking the city to matched that amount. Brown said he has also met with the Florida Department of Transportation to get them involved.

He said long term the project will cost about $47 million.

Brown said his goal is to get things going this year so that by 2016 the residents who are now living without safe clean drinking water can get connected to the city's water system.


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