West Virginia Communities Celebrate Return Of Clean Water

NORTHFORK, W.Va. (AP) — Several communities in West Virginia's southern coalfields celebrated the completion of a long awaited project to bring clean water to local communities last week.

The Elkhorn Water Project began in 2015 and included a new 400,000 gallon water storage tank on Elkhorn Mountain. The recently completed phase two brings county water to 112 McDowell County Service District customers in Upland, Kyle and Powhatan; 163 customers in Northfork and Algoma; and 101 in Keystone, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported.

Many water systems in the area were installed in the early 1900s by coal companies and have been failing for years. Residents of Keystone, for example, were under a boil water notice for more than a decade.

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., met with local and state officials on Thursdayto celebrate the completion phase two. Capito said clean drinking water is among the basic infrastructure rights, which includes good roads and broadband access.