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Cumberland River water effort continues



The Letcher County Water and Sewer District is looking for a potential site for a small water treatment plant to serve the county’s Cumberland River area.

A representative of Bell Engineering told the Water and Sewer District’s Board of Directors that Bell and district representatives are conducting a field survey to find a possible site. Bell is awaiting a response from the Kentucky Department of Highways for the feasibility of locating a plant on the highway right of way, said company representative Alan Bowman, and potential sites are being examined for water quality and compliance with Kentucky Department of Water withdrawal requirements.

Bowman said that Bell is continuing to maintain open lines of communication with the Wise County Public Service Authority, and will work with other stakeholders to develop other scenarios to get water to the area. The water supply situation for the Cumberland River area has been ongoing since the district started laying lines and there has been no satisfactory solution. Bell will submit project profiles at the next quarterly meeting of the Kentucky River Area Development District Water Council meeting.

The special meeting, held May 26, was called to make up for the previous week’s regular meeting, which was cancelled due to the lack of a quorum. The meeting was a short one and since it was a called meeting, the board could only address items that were on the agenda.

Bowman also told the board that Abandoned Mine Lands has ruled that the Scuttle Hole Gap community is not eligible for AML funding because, while the water there is bad, it was not caused by mining but because of the local geology. However, Bell Engineering is in the process of finalizing a design to connect Scuttle Hole Gap with county water lines and will submit it to the Kentucky Department of Water, in the event that funding becomes available.

All pipe is in the ground and the line has been tested for the second Knott County Interconnect. Bowman said Bell is in the process of scheduling a final inspection and that based on testing and a field inspection, it is prepared to issue a final adjusting change order in anticipation of closing out the project.

A memorandum of agreement has been executed for the extension of water lines for Phase II of the Red Star, Ulvah, and Turkey Creek Water Improvement Project as well as for Phase II of the Bull Creek/Elk Creek Project. Bell Engineering has surveyed the tank site for the Red Star project to determine feasibility and to obtain elevations for hydraulic modeling.

There have been no changes in other water improvement projects and many are either awaiting word on funding applications or continue to seek funding. Project profiles are still under development, and cost studies are being done in support of the federal prison project at Roxana.

District Manager Mark Lewis told the board that water costs from the Knott County District are a little higher for April, due to several leaks on the initial Knott County Interconnect. He added that three flow meters have been replaced on district water tanks.



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