Water Outages and Advisories Continue in W.Va. Coalfields
While the chemical spill in Charleston left more than 300,000 without usable water, it's a problem that folks in the coalfields deal with on a regular basis.
Last week, we heard stories of the water smelling of licorice, emptied shelves once stocked with bottled water, and other quests for clean water. The water crisis in West Virginia's capital city lasted just a few weeks, but folks in the coalfields continue to deal with boil water advisories and outages.
Mountainous regions like southern West Virginia have an abundance of water, but the terrain along with aging infrastructure have been creating access issues for decades. Many of the current water systems in place today in the coalfields were installed in the early 1900's by coal companies. Coal operators, jobs, and most people left the area, leaving remnants of a once bustling economy including some beautiful buildings, coal tipples, and water systems.
For some communities a boil water advisory is a way of life, like in Keystone, West Virginia, in McDowell County, where residents have been on an advisory since 2010. The town's neighboring sister city, Northfork, has been on a boil water advisory since 2013.