Department for Natural Resources
Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Announces Phase III of Breathitt County Waterline Project
The Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) announced today the award of contract and start of construction for phase three of the Turners Creek water supply project in Breathitt County, Ky. The contract for the project totals $521,639.36.
Construction of a waterline will be performed by G & W Construction Co. Inc. of Morehead, Ky. The project is expected to be completed by fall.
“This project is a continuation of one of AML’s larger water supply projects serving residents of a rural coalfield community in Kentucky. Through partnership with the local water company, the citizens of Breathitt County will now have access to safe, clean potable water,” said Department for Natural Resources Commissioner Carl Campbell.
A groundwater contamination study completed by the division found that AML-eligible mining had impacted much of the groundwater systems in the Turners Creek area of Breathitt County, near the community of Wolfe Coal, making the area eligible for AML waterline assistance. The study area consisted of the community of Turners Creek and included the side hollows of Mae Branch, Smiley Branch, Mud Pipe Branch, Left Fork Pipe Mud Branch, Lick Branch, Herald Lane, Gum Log Branch and Pearlie Fork Road.
A memorandum of agreement between the Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Breathitt County Water District provides funding for the design and construction of the waterline extension, which will be operated by the Breathitt County Water District. Remaining AML funding from phase two of the project will be also be expended.
A total of 37,500 linear feet of new water supply pipe will be constructed and 90 water meters will be installed. No water storage tanks or booster pump stations will be constructed. The waterlines will be installed primarily in previously disturbed ditches and shoulders of public road rights-of-way and at cleared private driveway edges, where practical. Waterline river and creek crossings will be constructed quickly and with as little intrusion of equipment as possible, thereby limiting the disturbance of sediments and resulting turbidity to those found during heavy storm events.
AML is authorized under KRS.350 to abate hazards to public health, safety and the environment from abandoned mine lands. 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 $80 million for waterline improvements and has provided more than 12,000 households with potable water supply in 24 coalfield 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.