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Keystone Residents fed up with water woes

KEYSTONE, W.Va. (WVVA) – Keystone has been under a boil advisory for almost seven years and throughout that time, there’s been a frequency of water issues.

Many residents tell WVVA they’ve been experiencing low water pressure or no water altogether.

“A simple thing like water,” said Hattie Avery, Keystone resident. “Last year, we went weeks without water.”

For the past week, Avery has been experiencing low water pressure, including days with no water at all.

Avery says the system for handling water payments is a bit ‘relaxed.’

“You don’t get a bill,” sad Avery. “We pay our water bill on a three months basis but we don’t get a bill. Sometimes, you forget or just don’t remember because you haven’t been notified.”

There’s no meter system or way to cut off individual households, so if folks don’t pay their bills, they’re still getting their water. However, for many residents like Avery, the problem is the quality and service of the water.

A Richlands family, originally from McDowell County, drove to Keystone Friday afternoon, delivering 48 cases of water for the community to distribute to those in need of water.

“Go a day without drinking water and flushing your toilet and see what it’s like,” said Sharon Herndon, a member of the water donation group. “This is not a new problem in Keystone and it’s been going on for a long time.”

Phase II of The Elkhorn Creek Water Project  will replace the current water systems in the Towns of Northfork and Keystone. 

The McDowell County Public Service District General Manager Mavis Brewster says, the water system should be addressed as early as March or April of 2020, with all the stages for the project already in place.

Brewster says they’re waiting for the final easement stage to be completed. Once the project begins, the PSD will have one year to complete the work.

 

Jennifer Roberts

Multimedia Journalist

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