Department for Natural Resources
Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Announces Breathitt County Water Supply Project

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 28, 2009  
Contact Information:  Corey Ann Howard

           The Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) announced today the Award of Contract and the start of construction for the Highway 1110 Water Supply Construction Project in Breathitt County, Ky.  Contracts for the project total $2,049,547.  Construction of the waterline will be performed by G & W Construction Co. Inc. and Laurel Construction Co. Inc. will be providing the water storage tank.  Nesbitt Engineering Inc. will be providing engineering and inspection services.  Construction is currently underway and the projected completion date for the project is April 2010.


An AML-funded groundwater supply study of the south-central Breathitt County area, near the North Fork of the Kentucky River and in the vicinity of Highway 1110 and at, or near, the communities of Haddix, Howard Creek, Saldee, Whick, Wolf Coal, Bush Branch, Altro, Barwick, and Beech, has shown that groundwater in portions of the study is degraded, primarily due to pre-law coal mine operations.  As a result, portions of the study area have been deemed eligible for assistance for water supply replacement from the AML program. 


The proposed project will be operated by the Breathitt County Water District and will involve the construction of a waterline supply system including: one water storage tank, two booster pump stations, approximately 33 miles of water main and the installation of water meters at approximately 533 residences.  New water service lines will be connected to existing public waterlines.


“This is one of AML’s larger water supply projects providing services to over 500 residences.  The project will supply water to many residences of rural Breathitt County who, otherwise, would not receive municipal water service,” said Director Steve Hohmann. 


“Being from a rural Kentucky county, I understand the importance of individuals receiving clean, potable water.  This is one of many AML waterline projects that reflect the Department for Natural Resource’s continuing efforts of providing water to the people of rural Kentucky coalfields,” added Commissioner Carl Campbell.


AML is authorized under KRS 350 to abate hazards to public health, safety and the environment from abandoned coal mines.  AML has a water supply replacement program that extends waterlines into areas where well water has been contaminated by past coal mining.  To date, AML has expended over $74.5 million dollars for waterline improvements and has provided over 11,316 households with potable water supply in 24 counties in eastern, southern, and western Kentucky.  AML funds a portion of the cost of these water replacement projects based on the mining impacts found in groundwater quality studies.