Local community struggles with unreliable water

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Think of all the times throughout the day when water is necessary. It’s needed to eat, to clean, to drink. Imagine not having that luxury everyday. Some people in Anawalt, WV are living with that very issue.

“I can’t take a bath, I can’t flush my toilet, I for sure can’t drink it. I wouldn’t dare drink it,” says Anawalt resident, Janet Long.

The water is pumped by O’Toole Water Association. The pump house is falling apart.

One of the community members who operates the pump says the technology isn’t advanced enough to isolate only those who don’t pay their bill. So, when one person in the community fails to pay, water is cut off for everyone.

As a replacement, this community collects water falling from the side of the mountain to wash clothes, bathe and flush toilets. They agree it’s cleaner and smells better than the water coming from the faucet.

The only other option is moving to county water, but according to the residents, installation costs are steep and difficult to afford.

Today, the water was on. Tomorrow, the water could be turned off again. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

Rachel Anderson

Rachel Anderson

Multimedia Journalist

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