Welch, West Virginia celebrates first phase of wastewater project

July 5, 2023
EPA, West Virginia, and McDowell County officials attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the first phase of the Coalwood Wastewater project, bringing first-ever public sewer service to 72 homes.

U.S. EPA announced that EPA officials joined West Virginia and McDowell County officials in Welch, West Virginia, for a ribbon cutting for the first phase of the Coalwood Wastewater project.

This first phase of the bring will bring first-ever public sewer service to 72 homes in Coalwood.

“Too many communities in the United States and here in West Virginia are still living without the basics — including safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater systems,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “EPA is committed to working with our state partners and investing in communities so that they have the tools and resources to solve public health and environmental problems while opening new doors of opportunities.”

In fiscal year 2023, EPA will provide nearly $110 million to West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs that support water infrastructure improvements throughout the state.

Through West Virginia DEP’s Clean Water SRF program, McDowell County Public Service District received a $1.2 million principal forgiveness loan to support the Coalwood sewer project. This funding was leveraged with another $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grants and a $1.3 million WV Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council grant, for a total project cost of $3.8 million.

“The PSD is very excited to have completed our first wastewater project, Coalwood Wastewater Phase 1,” said Mavis Brewster, Public Service District General Manager. “For many years, residents in Coalwood have endured issues with sewage backing up in yards and basements due to a failing collection system that was installed by coal companies in the 1930’s. Today we are happy to say that we have a solution to that problem for the residents in the Phase 1 area.”

In April, EPA recognized the PSD’s Coalwood Sewer Project Phase 1 as an exceptional Clean Water SRF infrastructure project, earning it a PISCES (Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success) award. A planned phase 2 will provide public sewer service to 136 more homes in Coalwood.

Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).
All images courtesy of Ecosorb.