- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

JENKINS, Ky. (AP) - A water project in southeastern Kentucky will bring potable water to 137 households.

Kentucky Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Steve Hohmann says many of the Letcher County residents who will benefit have been dealing with well water that has been degraded by mining.

The DNR’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands announced last week that the contract had been awarded for the Payne Gap Phase III AML water supply project.

The $3 million project will include water line installation and filter upgrades at the Jenkins water treatment plant.

The Abandoned Mine Lands division has determined that mining decades ago has impacted much of the groundwater along state routes 119 and 3406 at the head of the North Fork of the Kentucky River and Bottom Fork. That makes them eligible for the water upgrades.

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