Caroline MacGregor Published

PSC: Three Upper Kanawha Valley Water Districts Seriously Impaired

A group of people inspect a water system
A group of people inspect a water system from West Virginia American Water.
West Virginia American Water/Facebook
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State regulators say three upper Kanawha Valley water districts, including the one that serves the state’s maximum-security prison, are seriously compromised in their ability to provide water service to customers. 

The Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia has directed West Virginia American Water Company to take over the Armstrong Public Service District (PSD), calling it a failed utility.  

Armstrong PSD provides water and sewer services to nearly 900 people in the Montgomery area of Fayette County. 

Gauley River PSD in Nicholas County serves 1,200 customers, including 1,000 inmates at Mount Olive Correctional Complex. An investigation into the utility was launched last year following an interruption in water service to the prison that lasted several months. 

The PSC stopped short of ordering a takeover of Gauley River Public Service and Kanawha Falls Public Service Districts but cited both under the 2020 Distressed and Failing Utilities Improvement Act. 

The Gauley River PSD purchases its water from Kanawha Falls PSD and Summersville. 

The PSC ordered West Virginia American Water to provide financial, managerial and technical support to Gauley River and Kanawha Falls PSDs. Management contracts must be filed for review within 30 days.

For more information, visit the PSC’s website: www.psc.state.wv.us.