Page-Kincaid residents continue to experience severe water odor and discoloration

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – When the residents of the Page-Kincaid area turn on their water faucet, it is a daily guessing game as to what will come out.

“It’s brown. It stinks sometimes. It’s rusty-looking,” Page resident Savanna Evans said. “It stains your clothes. It makes you itch.”

Water issues have been persistent for years as the Page-Kincaid Public Service District’s water system has seen several maintenance issues due to its old age and lack of funding for a proper filtration system.

On Sunday, after two weeks of cloudy water, it went back to dark brown.

“I was in the shower Sunday, and I had gotten my wash cloth ready. The water’s running. I’m about to wash my head, so I looked down, and it looked like mud in my bathtub, and I managed to get out before I soaked my whole body in that. But that’s got to be changed, and it can be,” Kincaid resident Benny Miller said.

Back in October, people thought it was going to change as West Virginia American Water was planning on putting down a bid to take over the system.

Sen. Stephen Baldwin (D-10) says it seemed as though Page-Kincaid PSD was going to let it happen, but now it seems as though the PSD would like to fix their own system and maintain control.

“We’re not achieving a good result right now, and people deserve clean water when they’re paying for it,” Sen. Baldwin said. “If that means West Virginia Water, then okay. If that means figuring it out with PSD, then okay, but we’ve got to figure it out.”

On Tuesday, the water was back to a yellowish tint, but the frustration continues as water bills rise while people are forced to use bottled water for cooking and drinking and sometimes even creek water for other household chores.

Otherwise, for things like showers and washing clothes, they just deal with it.

Dana Shelton, an Upper Kincaid resident, says it is especially hard having unclean water in the middle of a global health crisis with COVID-19 when they have been dealing with their own health crisis for the last three years.

“If you’re washing your hands in nasty water, what’s the point? Like I said, I posted a post on Facebook, I said, ‘If the corona doesn’t kill all of us this water definitely will,’” Shelton said.

The Page-Kincaid PSD was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

The area is still under a boil water advisory but many say boiling the water will just turn it a darker color.

Sen. Baldwin says he asked Fayette County Emergency Management to deliver bottled water through VOAD to the PSD and that was done Monday afternoon which can be picked up by residents.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.