McDowell PSD

COALWOOD — The Coalwood community is commonly known as the home of the famed Rocket Boys of McDowell County. Now it’s also the location of the first-ever public sewer project to be undertaken by the McDowell County Public Service District.

Construction on the new $3.8 million Coalwood Sewer Project got underway last week. Work on the first phase of the sewer system is expected to be completed in early 2022,  Mavis Brewster, the PSD’s general manager, said.

The PSD was formed in 1990, and since that time has been working to extend county water to communities in need. It began with a customer base of 522, and now provides water service to more than 3,400 homes and businesses across McDowell County. With most of McDowell County now receiving public water, Brewster said the PSD is now working to tackle wastewater needs in the county.

“We are glad to be starting this project,” Brewster said. “It is exciting. They have started. They have been under construction this week with it.”

The first phase of the new Coalwood Sewer Project will serve approximately 65 customers in the community.

Brewster said the existing sewer collection system is considered an orphan system which was installed more than 80 years ago by a coal company. While the mines were in operation, the collection system was maintained by the coal company. However, when the mines closed, the system was left with no one to provide maintenance and eventually failed.

According to Brewster, residents in the Coalwood community have been dealing with issues of sewer backing up into yards and basements creating inconvenience and serious health risks.

Funding for the $3,807,470 project is being provided through a Community Development Block Grant of $1,500,000; a WV Infrastructure Jobs Development Grant of $1,100,000; and a Clean Water State Revolving Fund Principal Forgiveness Loan of $1,207,470. The phase one project will involve the installation of 4,700 linear feet of sewer mains, 1,000 linear feet of lateral lines, 4,260 linear feet of force mains, 35 manholes, one 80 gallon per minute station, and one 17,500 gallons per day extended aeration treatment plant, according to a press release from the PSD.

Brewster said E.L. Robinson Engineering is providing engineering services for the project. Mendon Pipeline is undertaking the line work and Tribute Contracting will construct the sewer treatment plant. 

The Coalwood Sewer Project is expected to have at least two additional phases. Those future phases of the project are still in the planning stages.

Anyone seeking additional information about the sewer project can contact Brewster at the McDowell County PSD at (304) 297-2622.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com. Follow him @BDTOwens

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