SASAKWA, Okla. (KFOR) – For over a month, the town of Sasakwa has only had running water every other day.
Potential hope surfaced at a special town meeting Tuesday, as residents get increasingly desperate for good news amidst these extreme temperatures.
Resident Brittany Schaffer says these sweltering days of summer are even more exhausting with the alternating running water schedule that started in June.
Town officials explained to KFOR that a blockage in the town well is affecting water pressure and flow.
“It’s hard,” said Schaffer. “I mean you can’t even cook dinner because some days you’re like um, do we have water today? No. Then you usually have a sink full of dishes until the water comes on the next day.”
Joyce Jones shared that unfortunately, she’s had no water at all since May.
“It’s like camping, but no creek close by, so it’s very trying,” she said in frustration.
Town officials held a special town meeting Tuesday to update residents on the status of fixing the well.
Sasakwa’s Water Operator Abe Davis said with school starting up this week, they plan to change the running water schedule to Mondays through Fridays from 4:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., beginning Thursday.
Some in attendance expressed concern about those hours.
“I’m just worried for people that come home from work,” said one woman about residents not being able to shower in the evenings. “I don’t know if anybody’s going to get up at 4:30 in the morning.”
At the meeting, officials conference-called a water drilling consultant they’ve been working with, who informed them that they may be able to get federal funding from Indian Health Service.
The consultant has been in talks with an IHS representative.
“He felt really good about getting that funding and he told me if he does, he’s going to call me and say, ‘Go drill the well,'” the consultant told officials.
He concluded that the town could have fully functioning water again two weeks after if/when those funds are approved.
“They are very confident that we’ll get the funding to build this new well,” Davis told KFOR.
Jones said she left the meeting in a state of slight optimism.
“It’s hopeful,” she said. “If they get that other well drilled, within a week or so we could have water and that would be amazing.”
Sasakwa officials said they will find out if they’ll get the federal funding for the new well on Friday.