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Continued Water Woes

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

Nearly four thousand people in Letcher County continue to deal with a non-consumption water advisory after Division of Water officials find petroleum in the Whitesburg water system.

Another load of water arrives at the Letcher recycling center, keeping workers there busy.

“Usually until ten o'clock at night giving pallets of water and the drinking waters you see. We're working on like twenty pallets of water that we've given away in the last two days,” said David Caudill with the center.

A non-consumption advisory remains in effect for nearly four thousand people in the county. Division of Water officials say they traced petroleum to a damaged storage tank and that Don Childers of Childers Oil, Inc. acknowledged owning the tanks where the leak is thought to have originated. A notice of violation is expected to be issued. In the meantime, officials say more testing is necessary.

“A schedule of testing is necessary to confirm that the water is clearing up, and clearing up adequately to resume water treatment and consumption,” said Allison Fleck, Division of Water Spokeswoman.

Workers at area businesses like the David Narramore dentist office say the lack of water is affecting operations.

“The thing that we're doing right now is working with the jug water, bottled water and we just have to fill it up in a little syringe and squirt it in their mouth,” said Rickie Hopkins, a dental assistant.

And other business owners that rely on water say they are frustrated.

“It's really ridiculous because we'd like to just carry on with our work without interruptions and a lot of our customers are afraid to come and we just need to get back to normal,” said Sheila Webb, owner of Cut Away Beauty Shop.


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