Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has issued a recreational use advisory for areas downstream of the Mount Olive Correctional Center following the recent flooding in Kanawha and Fayette Counties. The current advisory is for 10 miles downstream, ranging from the correctional facility to the London Locks and Dam, and is in effect until further notice.
Heavy rainfall washed out at least 2.5 miles of the Kanawha Falls Public Service District's (PSD) sewage collection system, which serves the Mount Olive Correctional Center. This disruption has the potential to allow raw sewage to discharge directly into waters of the state.
People should avoid water contact recreation activities in the affected area, such as swimming, fishing, water skiing, and certain types of pleasure boating (e.g. sailing in a very small craft or outboard motor boats).
Per the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), no impacts to drinking water are expected and no drinking water or boil water advisories have been issued at this time.
The Kanawha Falls PSD notified the WVDEP of an upset to its sewage collection system through the state's Emergency Spill Line. The Kanawha Falls PSD's upset provision allows discharge into waters of the state until the sewer line is repaired. Emergency measures are currently being implemented to restore some level of treatment as quickly possible and local downstream water intakes have been notified.
The WVDEP, DHHR, the West Virginia Emergency Management Division, and the Kanawha Falls PSD are working together to identify any additional damage to the sewage system and determine a temporary solution. Major repairs to local infrastructure will need to be made before the sewer line is permanently replaced.