Water Treatment Plant Means Less Water Restrictions

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Water restrictions in Knott County continue as wells run low and new sources for clean water are hard to find, but officials say by next summer, a moderate drought will not force cut backs in the county.

Water officials say people in their counties see water restrictions nearly every time there's a drought, but they say once the new water plant opens, things will be different.

Resident Inspector of the new plant, Joe Howard says, "A lot of these people, their wells have just dried up, they have no water. And a lot of people's water is too terrible, you can't treat it, it's just really bad."

Officials say the new water treatment plant will bring the clean water Knott County needs. The plant is expected to open by the first of the year, but builders say rising costs following Hurricane Katrina have pushed back the progress on the plant.

"Prices of steel, prices of plastic, and the pipes, concrete, everything went up. And by the time we got everything ready to bid, we had gone from 8 million to 11 million (dollars)," says Kenneth Slone with USDA Rural Development.

After the plant is complete, additional water lines from other counties will help bring clean water outside of Knott County.

"Lines have been laid not only in Knott County, but in Letcher County and in portions of Perry County as we speak," says Slone.

The plant will be able to pump 2 million gallons a day from Carr Creek Lake.

Water officials say the levels at Carr Creek Lake have been raised to accommodate for all the gallons that will be used to serve the community. They say there will be no effect for boaters or anyone else enjoying the lake.

Kenneth Slone says it's important that people in Knott County hook up to the water when it becomes available, so that the water plant can do its job.

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