Pocahontas PSD Already Seeing Dramatic Decreases In Water Loss Due To Upgrades

Durbin, WV – A project in the northern end of Pocahontas County is already proving effective in reducing water loss from the Public Service Districts’ waterworks in Durbin, Frank and Bartow. The project is being spearheaded by Thrasher Engineering, with Project Manager Randy Watson overseeing the work. He gave the PSD board members an update on the project during their May 31st meeting.

“As of last Thursday and Friday, we were 30% complete with the project, and like Ricky told you, we started off the job and just within the first 30%, we’ve knocked the finished water treatment for the plant from 185,000 gallons down to 75,000 [gallons] a day” says Watson. “So pretty much everything we do from here on out is gravy on the job.”

It was because of such severe water losses that the PSD board first submitted the project to the state for funding back in 2008. At that time, there were no issues with the state Division of Highways. Watson says that’s not the case now.

“Dept of Highways wanted us if we were going to be cutting the road outside of the white line, they wanted us to cut and mill the road clear to the center, which makes absolutely no sense” he says. “So we are requesting that we not do that; that we just cut that road at the white line towards the paved area where the Station restaurant and that area through there and just pave that parking area. Makes all the sense in the world, you end up with a good job, makes common sense.”

Watson says he will continue to negotiate with the highway dept. He says there is plenty of other work to do in the meantime before they’re ready to tackle that area in Durbin.

Durbin Mayor Donald Peck asked why the project doesn’t cover all the water lines in the town of Durbin. Watson explains that they received almost $593,000.00 from the state for this project, partly from grants and partly from West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council loans. He says that amount determined which lines and how much work could be done on the project.

“What we do is make a determination after consulting with Ricky [Barkley] which service lines in the system were in pretty much need of replacement” he says. “I arrived at a cost of that. That was not only in Durbin, but it was in Frank and Bartow, and throughout the entire system. If we were to do the whole town of Durbin or the whole system, it would have been that much more money, and we would have had to borrow that much more, and then the rates would have had to go up that much more.”

Peck says there is one particular leak in the town that has been a problem for well over a year. PSD Chairman Tom Shipley asked Water Plant Manager Ricky Barkley to investigate the leak. Watson told the board members that they will use all of the money allotted for this project.

“In this job you have loan dollars and you have grant dollars” says Watson. “Make you spend your loan dollars first, grant dollars are remaining at the end; and we will spend all that. We’re not going to get down to the point where we say we’ve got $100,000.00 and say we just can’t find anything to do with it.”

“We also have the issue of the security of the water tanks, and the chain link fencing up there, which we’re in technical violation of” says PSD board member David Litsey.

“And those are legitimate requests to spend the money on, they get approved every day” says Watson.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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