Some residents without water as town considers changing source

GARY, WV (WOAY) – The town of Gary offers drinking water to residents still struggling with water service after a pump left the entire community without water last week.

“Our pump that was in our water source messed up, so that meant there was no water making it out of the hole to the system,” explained Chief of Police S.P. “Pat” McKinney. “That was what we got replaced first.”

Those that recently got their service back say their water still isn’t clear, but Chief McKinney says that will pass.

“It’s complicated because we just had a big leak. anytime the pressure drops in the system and it picks up, if there’s any sediment in the pipes, it’s pushed forward and it’s coming out, so you’re going to have murky water in those areas that are just getting pressure back.”

As service returns, the town moves on to its next goal: replacing old pumps and buying a few backups.

“The original pump cost $22,000. That’s just buying it, that doesn’t count installing it. The other pumps are between $4,000 and $6,000 apiece. We’re looking at close to $50,000, maybe $100,000 by the time that you buy and install them.”

McKinney says the town is looking into grants to help cover the cost. Once that is done, the town may look into changing its water source to provide better service.

“We can identify a new well source, put a pump in there, lay the pipe in there to the treatment plant. Option B is to find a new water source, build a new treatment plant near that water source and then option three is to find a larger system that will lay pipes in. That’s the most expensive option.”

The town lifted its boil water advisory for residents earlier this afternoon.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.