Community Welcomes City Water for the First Time

ZELA, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Clean, safe drinking water is something many take for granted, unless you live in a town where that's hard to come by.

The excitement is flowing at Zela Elementary School in Nicholas County where in about a month, people will finally get city water.

“It’s a lot off my back. I don't want to be a certified water technician, but I have to be,” Zela Elementary Principal Teresa Morris said.

Testing water isn't usually part of a principal's job description, but Morris does it all of the time.

She said it's more than just inconvenient.

“It's expensive for everyone. This will be a lot less expensive, having city water,” Morris said.

The school spends more than $4,000 a year just on testing water. That doesn't include the cost of delivering what's needed for drinking and cooking.

Now, that's all about to change, but getting to this point has been a long road.

“One of the big problems is convincing people that it's coming,” Gauley River PSD Chairperson Russell Deering said. “They don't want to sign up 'til they really have to.”

Kim Brown says he's been ready for years, because his spring water has been nothing but trouble.

“You can't wash white clothes in it very good,” Brown said. “We won't have to full with pumps -- any of that stuff.”

Neighbors will save money on laundry service, pipe maintenance and lots of bottled water.

PSD officials say being hooked up to a public water system increases residents' property value by 35 percent.

This is just part two of the three-phase project, so there's still more work to do.

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