Approximately 300 Preston County Residents Might Remain Without - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Approximately 300 Preston County Residents Might Remain Without City Water

Posted: Updated:
Image courtesy of MGN Online. Image courtesy of MGN Online.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Tazewell County Man Busted for Growing Marijuana

    Tazewell County Man Busted for Growing Marijuana

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:04 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:04:51 GMT
    Roger Lee Sparks, Jr.Roger Lee Sparks, Jr.
    A Richlands man is in custody after Tazewell County Deputies find $350,000 worth of pot, including 115 plants and more than a pound of harvested marijuana, and guns in his home.
    A Richlands man is in custody after Tazewell County Deputies find $350,000 worth of pot, including 115 plants and more than a pound of harvested marijuana, and guns in his home.
  • Officers In Tazewell County Work To Keep Your Holiday Travel Safe

    Officers In Tazewell County Work To Keep Your Holiday Travel Safe

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:50:12 GMT
    Police patrolling the roads this Labor DayPolice patrolling the roads this Labor Day
    According to AAA, 34.7 million people are expected to hit the road this Labor Day. Many police officers are out in force to keep you safe.
    According to AAA, 34.7 million people are expected to hit the road this Labor Day. Many police officers are out in force to keep you safe.
  • After fatal McDowell County crash, Troopers caution against drinking and driving over Holiday Weekend

    After fatal McDowell County crash, Troopers caution against drinking and driving over Holiday Weekend

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:00:38 GMT
    While many are safely celebrating Labor Day, State Troopers want to caution everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving.The West Virginia Department of Transportation says over the last 5 years in the Mountain State, almost 800 people have been killed in a drink driving crash just during Labor Day Weekend. Troopers released these pictures from Sunday morning's fatal crash to show the consequences drinking and driving can have.Read full story on Sunday morning's fatal crash in McDowell ...
    While many are safely celebrating Labor Day, State Troopers want to caution everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving.The West Virginia Department of Transportation says over the last 5 years in the Mountain State, almost 800 people have been killed in a drink driving crash just during Labor Day Weekend. Troopers released these pictures from Sunday morning's fatal crash to show the consequences drinking and driving can have.Read full story on Sunday morning's fatal crash in McDowell ...
HAZELTON -

Not having clean drinking water is a big issue, and some Preston County residents who previously thought it would no longer be a problem are quickly realizing it might not happen.

Preston County Public Service District (PSD) No. 4 sent a letter just a few weeks ago explaining an Abandoned Mine Land (AML) waterline project would not be fully funded. That leaves about 300 households who previously thought they'd finally get running city water hanging out to dry.

"They just basically said we're not funding it anymore. We were told that there was a commitment letter from the Office of Surface Mining that was given to the Preston County Public Service Department that said they would go through with this project," said Dan Olthaus, a Hazelton resident. "Now that the project has been bid out and awarded to the construction, what kind of damage is there to the contractor that has the contract now, the people that are working on the contract now; it's a pretty big issue out here."

An issue that involves a lot of people. More than 400 households were set to have city water hooked up through the AML grant and that's down to 100. All of the residents have already paid a $160.00 tapping fee.

But The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) returned a letter to one Preston County resident asking about the problem, stating it had never entered into a binding commitment to fund the project.

The OSMRE said it cannot fund any project the Abandoned Land Mine Fund does not approve. For water lines, that is any mining activity that happened after 1977.

Olthaus is the president of the Hazel View Homeowners Association. He has a high iron content in his well and spent more than $3,000 on a purification system. He's only one of many people that will have to continue to deal with this issue.

"We actually have to chemically treat the water, it goes into a holding tank, the holding tank allows the water to sit, and then it goes through a filtration system," said Olthaus. "There are people in this plan that don't have wells that weren't successful in getting water."

PSD No. 4 said it's still trying to get the OSMRE to change it's mind. However, in the letter sent to the resident the office also states it never enters into binding commitments for funding of any type of AML project. The authorization only goes through after the project is fully designed.

Residents are sending letters to their elected representatives representatives to try to get help.