MAYKING, Ky (WYMT) - If this winter has taught us anything in eastern Kentucky, it is that having running water is essential. For some in Letcher County, their wait for clean water is almost over.
We like to think the water flowing from our sinks is safe. But for many living in rural Letcher County, like Payne Gap resident Starla Holbrook, there is room for improvement.
"It has been pretty tough. We had one well and oil got in it, then we had another well drilled and it got destroyed," said Holbrook.
They are daily frustrations Holbrook hopes will be a thing of the past when the latest phase of a water supply project is completed later this year.
"We went up in the mountain and found water and then ran two thousand feet of pipe into the house," said Holbrook.
Deputy County Judge Executive Eddie Meade tells WYMT the news is even better when you consider the county will not pay a dime for the improvements. Due to earlier mining in the area, the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands will foot the more than $1,000,000 bill.
"They all have wells, but water is bad so this right here is a major plus in that area. We are wanting to get clean drinking water to everybody," said Meade.
The majority of the people that will be helped by this project live on side roads off U.S. 119 between Mayking and Jenkins.
"It is a big relief, you know, that someone else is going to be worrying about the water and we do not have to try to get out and thaw lines," said Holbrook.
Meade added that weather permitting, work on the project will start in February and finish by late July or early August. In total, around 200 people will benefit.