Town of Rainelle addresses dirty water problems - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Town of Rainelle addresses dirty water problems

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UPDATE:

RAINELLE, W. Va (WVVA)-- WVVA attended a public meeting held at the Rainelle Town Hall Monday night to address the town water concerns.

People came to the meeting to voice their problems before the water department, as well as the mayor and an engineer working on the project.

"It's not good," said a concerned citizen at the meeting. "I've only been living here since July and I'm fed up already. I wouldn't renew my lease and stay here any longer with these conditions."

Engineer Stacy Fowler with Stafford Consultants told the crowd gathered that the project to fix the water problems was already underway.

The process is currently in the early stages. Fowler said they are acquiring proper permits, working on the drawings, and doing the behind-the-scenes work before they can move forward.

"From there, we will begin the bidding process and hire a contractor. We expect to do that sometime this summer," he said.

The fix will involve new filters at the water plant, replacing between 5 and 10% of the existing water lines, and re-connecting many of the "dead-end" lines to the others to create what Fowler calls "circles." That way, standing water at the end of water lines would be eliminated.

The goal is to make the brown water, as well as the sediment in it, clear, said Mayor Pendleton. "It just takes time," she added.

Fowler said the conditions would likely get worse during construction of new water lines, but would improve quickly.

The town is paying for the plan with a $2.6 million dollar loan that will be paid off over a period of 40 years. It is not yet known the exact cost to Rainelle taxpayers, but Mayor Pendleton said she expects them to be very minimal.

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RAINELLE, W. Va (WVVA)-- Some Rainelle residents tell WVVA News their water looks dirty and coffee-colored.

Bill Lively, who lives in town, said Monday, "It's a brown little mess. You don't even want to take a shower in it. When you're washing your clothes... it just mirks them up."

Mayor Pendleton agrees. "They have been patient long enough," she said.

At 7 PM Monday, the town will hold a public meeting to address the residents' water concerns. Although not every home in town is affected, Pendleton said the problem was big enough to address publicly again.

Rainelle has taken out a $2.6 million loan to begin fixing the water issue. Pendleton said the pipes were old, but that wasn't the only problem.

"The filtration system is the biggest thing, and the other part is the water lines, we have dead lines out there," she said.

All of the loan money will be applied to the water problem.

"It's in the hands of the engineers now," she said, urging residents to be patient as the repair process begins.

Lively said he hopes the problem is fixed sooner rather than later.

"I'm having to change my water filters out about every fifteen days... And that gets expensive, on top of a fifty-dollar water bill a month," he said.

Doris Windon agreed. 

"We haven't drunk the water for god, 7 or 8 years," she said. "It really really makes me mad."

Pendleton asks any interested parties to attend the meeting at 7 PM Monday. Engineers will speak on the progress of the repairs, and how they will next move forward. There will also be time for public comment on the matter.

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