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‘Money down the drain’: WV losing most of water it produces

By CAITY COYNE

Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Only one quarter of the water West Virginia water systems pay to have treated and pumped ever reaches a faucet, according to a Gazette-Mail analysis of the most recent annual reports filed by 305 public, community, municipal and private water systems to the state Public Service Commission.

More than 55 percent of water produced and treated by West Virginia water plants disappears underground, through hundreds of leaky, dilapidated systems that have not been properly maintained or upgraded in years, completely unaccounted for.

Another 19 percent of the water pumped in the state is lost but “accounted for,” through things like main breaks and fire department use, meaning systems know where the water goes, but still do not collect revenue for it.

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