After their water well ran dry, East Texas couple must now haul in water

SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Low lake levels and close-to-empty ponds have become the norm this summer, but dried up water wells definitely isn't.

"The water platelets are falling out, it's the drought. The drought is taking all our water," says Melissa Wilburn.

Melissa Wilburn and her husband Ralph are learning how to live without running water.

They're Toledo Bend home has a personal well.

"When you're not in a drought situation it replenishes itself quickly. So you never run out of water," says Ralph Wilburn.

That started to change a few months ago.

"We would have to re-prime the pump anytime you wanted to get water," Says Melissa.

Now they are not using the faucet at all.

"We were getting 20 to 30 gallons a day, but now we're getting basically none," says Ralph.

For at least a month, the Wilburns say they've been hauling in all of their water. That's because their well gives them about a gallon a day of dirty water.

To survive, the couple drives almost ten miles to a state park.

"We have big 55 gallon drums we fill up maybe once every two weeks to toilets and stuff like that," says Melissa.

For everything else, they have to fill up smaller containers.

"Will fill on a daily - maybe every other day - to do dishes and basic drinking water we would need," says Melissa.

"It's hard when you get up in the morning and you want a cup of coffee and your out of water and you have to go get it," says Ralph.

Taking a shower at home is also out of the question.

"We go to public parks - that's lovely. We go to public parks and take showers," says Melissa.

They say it's all an inconvenience, but they're not surprised.

"My dad was born on this property. We watched the lake come up about '68 and I've never, ever seen the lake this low ever," says Ralph.

Now they're hoping to fill up their well.

"I'd like to see about 20 inches of rain would be pretty nice," says Ralph.

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