Trinity Co. resident's beef with company leaves dozens without water

Kenneth Jones, water company president
Kenneth Jones, water company president

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Faucets are dripping again in Nogalus Prairie and Centralia after a nasty battle over water.

Bobby Conner is known to do things big in Trinity County. So, it didn't surprise most people when they heard about his battle with the Nogalus Central water company.

"Took my tractor and dug my water line up and took my steel chain saw and cut the line," said Conner.

In an instant, 75 other customers lost water.

"I feel really bad about it but on the other hand I'm not responsible for their water," said Conner.

The Nogalus/Centralia water pipeline go under this property that Conner owns, and where he leases two stores.

Water company president Kenneth Jones admits they don't legally have the right to use his land for their water lines.

"We've had an easement situation going on," said Jones.

"It means I give them permission to have their lines across my property. I'm not going to give them permission. I'll lease it to them," said Conner.

The lines were laid more than 30 years ago, but Jones says they can't find paperwork for an agreement with previous owners.

"We were making arrangements to move the line... Get into the highway right-a-way," said Jones.

Not quick enough for Conner.

"I dug it up last month to let them know it was coming,"said Conner.

Fed up, on Wednesday he tore into the water line with a chain saw.

"This is Texas we're the state with the most right with out property other than anyone else. I'm just practicing my rights," said Conner.

Contractors installing new valves to restore service expect the last couple of houses will have water by dark.

"People tend to get real angry when they come home from work and there's no water," said Jones.

Even when the water is flowing again the Nogalus Prairie and Centralia area is under a boil water notice.

This runs through the weekend, or until water samples are cleared by the Angelina Neches River Authority.

©2011 ktre. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.