Oakvale area residents finally get connected to water - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Oakvale area residents finally get connected to water

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OAKVALE, W. Va (WVVA)-- 370 people are finally getting clean running water. That means less danger, in more ways than one, for the people in Oakvale, Mercer County.

Many people there were relying on wells, which some say caved in occasionally, to bring running water into their houses.

Officials with the Oakvale Road Public Service District tell WVVA that some of those wells tested positive for E-coli and other dangerous contaminants.

But after a ceremony Friday, residents celebrated being connected to main water lines through the WV American Water Company.

It's called the Mercer/Summers Phase IV A and Kellysville I and II Extension Water Project.

Pamela Browning, Manager of the Public Service District, said, "They don't have to worry about their wells going dry, they don't have to take their clothes to a laundromat."

But local fire department can celebrate, too. The Oakvale Volunteer Fire Department used to need to pull water from creeks and streams to fight fires. Now, they can use hydrants.

Kevin Weiss, a local firefighter, said creeks are unreliable and before the connection, part of the danger of fighting a fire was finding the water to do it with.

"Creeks freeze over and in the dry weather they pretty much dry up. So we only had a few spots in the dry water we could even get water. So it's a big asset," he said.

The Oakvale School will also benefit. They no longer have to bring in bottled water for the students.

This whole project costs $7.2 million, and is paid for by grants and loans.

The next phase will connect a section of elgood... And officials are now working on funding for that project.
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