By December 11, 2018 Read More →

Southern West Virginia residents wary of water’s health effects

By CAITY COYNE

Charleston Gazette-Mail

and MOLLY BORN

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Naomi and James Stollings sit on their living room in Chattaroy, Mingo County. The couple has have been dealing with raw sewage backing up in their neighborhood for years. On the television is a video James Stollings took of stormwater and raw sewage flowing down their street after a hard rain.
(West Virginia Public Broadcasting photo by Jesse Wright)

PINEVILLE, W.Va.  Dr. Joanna Bailey remembers crowding around the kitchen table with her family, carefully sticking stamps on the corners of her neighbors’ monthly water bills. Her dad managed water service in Glover, an old coal town along the Guyandotte River in Wyoming County.

When someone didn’t pay the bill, Bailey’s father would quietly let it slide, knowing that, without a shut-off valve, the water would keep flowing anyway.

One day, a woman mailed in a check for a dollar and some cents, along with a letter explaining that she’d deducted everything that she had to buy that month because she couldn’t use the discolored water that came out of her tap.

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