Water crews are still digging up ground and making repairs in the St. John’s Road area of Follansbee.
Last Monday, water problems started in this subdivision of Follansbee. But after multiple leaks were detected in just a short period of time, city leaders think there may be a larger problem beneath the ground.
“We’ve encountered seven leaks in the last five days,” explained Water Superintendent Jack McIntosh.
“When you get that many in a small, concentrated area, there might be something that triggers that. There’s something underlying that’s causing it.”
Right now, McIntosh believes that underlying cause is mine subsidence. The shafts below the surface moving and causing problems.
“If there’s still voids in there and some of this ground is shifting, you get a shift in the ground. Even a small shift with a water line, if its packed in the ground, it can actually snap in two.”
And because piping underground has become a problem, temporary water lines have been installed above ground to bring water to these customers.
So, to help get one step closer to a solution, State Senator Ryan Weld contacted the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection – specifically the Abandoned Mine Lands office to see what it can do.
“A lot of it comes in technical assistance, financial assistance to make sure we are able to fix this problem and get service back to these people,” he said. “That’s why it’s important for the state to get involved.”
That group is supposed to come in Tuesday afternoon to assess the situation.