KYLE, WV (WVNS) — Year after year, hundreds in McDowell County struggled to find clean, safe drinking water. An issue that took notice from multiple agencies across the state, including California based company, Dig Deep.
The project is called the Elkhorn Phase 2 Water Project. It is the McDowell County PSD’s project to extend water service. Jeff Petry, an engineer on the project, said this has been a long time coming, but projects of this size take time and money.
“The biggest hurdle among these projects is funding. It’s pretty expensive to provide safe drinking to folks. That seems to be the most difficult hurdle to overcome,” said Petry.
But with the help of state funds, work is finally beginning, and more than just a few will feel the benefits of the new pipes.
“This project will run from the Upland area down to Keystone. It’s supposed to provide service to roughly 420 customers. Some of those customers have water service currently, some of those folks have never had public drinking water, so it’ll be a big improvement for the area,” said Petry.
Petry, who lives in Charleston, said he knows just a fraction of the frustration McDowell County residents are feeling.
“I think one thing that brings it into perspective to me, I live in the area of Charleston that went through the water crisis. You don’t understand the importance of water until it’s gone or until you don’t have it. We take it for granted everyday that we do have it. These folks down here can’t take it for granted, they’ve never had it,” said Petry.
Talks are in place for further extensions of the line throughout the rest of the county.