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Rural water service reviewed, again

Lawrence County Commission Thursday revisited an old and seemingly never ending problem: The lack of water service to some rural areas.

Ben Martin, of Charley Creek Road said he has just moved back to this area, and is disappointed to find some things haven’t changed.

&uot;We’re so close and still don’t have water,&uot; Martin said. &uot;It’s pretty tough when you don’t have necessities like water and sewer.&uot;

Two weeks ago, the county commission sent a letter to Ohio American Water Company, asking that the company immediately extend water lines to areas of Big Branch, Charley Creek and Macedonia Roads.

They have yet to receive a reply.

In some areas, residents have been waiting for years, and must rely on cisterns, water haulers, and wells they worry might be polluted.

Some pockets of unserved residents need only walk about mile to find neighbors that do have water service.

Commissioner Paul Herrell said residents of Johns Creek Road are a tenth of a mile from Gallia Water Service lines, and seven tenths of a mile from Hecla lines.

&uot;They’ve got water on both ends of the road but the people in the middle are without,&uot; Herrell said. &uot;They can’t get anyone to put it in. It’s a shame.&uot;

And other than send letters to the water companies, there is little that commissioners can do.

&uot;We have no legal leverage,&uot; Commission President Jason Stephens said. &uot;There is no state mandate for water service like there is for electric service.&uot;

The Ironton Tribune spoke briefly two weeks ago with Karen Cooper, vice president and manager of Ohio American Water Company.

Cooper said she was not aware of situation but would check on it and reply. So far, the company has not responded. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Triune