RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After their wells failed around Thanksgiving, Susanna Strasser and her neighbors started receiving their water from a nearby fire hydrant. But Durham city water management shut off the connection almost a month ago.

Now, Durham County has provided a chrome tanker truck to supply the five Junction Road homes.

“I try to use the smallest amount I can because I don’t want to hurt all those people too,” Strasser said. “It’s kids.”

Lludiz Velazquez conserves the supply by saving rainwater in buckets. She said her failed well started spewing out dirt.

“When my daughter started taking a shower, she said after the shower ‘oh mommy, it’s itchy,’” Velazquez said. “And her skin gets very dry and then her head starts itching too.”

Deputy County Manager Maurice Jones tells CBS 17 the tanker is there for at least 30 days.

Water Tanker Truck (Courtesy of Ben Bokun)

“If this water is taken away from us, we’ll have 35 or 40 people here within a couple of blocks that won’t have any water at all,” Elmo Yancey, who got the initial approval to use the fire hydrant and owns two homes on Junction Road, said.

That’s why the neighbors are still calling on the city to provide a water line.

Civil engineer Cliff Credle carried out private testing on the broken wells and said multiple were contaminated or didn’t produce enough water to be tested. Credle said the county’s testing yielded the same results.

“Before the development, all these wells were in working order,” he said.

A statement from the Department of Water Management said “Durham Water Management is working with Durham County on a long-term solution for those affected on Junction Road. A long-term solution may take some time to work out. In the interim, Durham County is providing temporary relief for these Durham County residents.”

“We have a big development coming in our left; one in the right and they have water,” Strasser said. “It’s a few houses in between that we don’t have water. How come? I want an answer for it.”

Back in April, water management previously told CBS 17 officials were willing to meet and discuss the process of adding a city line, but neighbors say they haven’t received any communication. The department had also said it’s against city ordinance to apply hydrant meters for domestic use.

“It is not a sustainable solution for domestic service,” Administration, Compliance, and Communication Assistant Director Mary Tiger said.

She said the department wasn’t aware of the neighbors’ intentions.

“They’re saying it’s illegal to do what we’ve done,” Yancey said. “But where’s the harm?”

Until the neighbors obtained the water tanker, Yancey and Strasser were attempting to share one working well between five homes.

“The solution would be for the city to provide city water along the front of all these houses,” Yancey said.

Multiple homes on Junction Road already pay a sewer tax to the city. Yancey said he’s spent over $6,000 trying to find solutions.