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Success Stories | West Virginia

Elkwater Fork Success Story
Location: Randolph County, WV
Public Law-566
304-284-4826 carol.lagodich@wv.usda.gov
September 24, 2007

 

NRCS Provides Adequate Water Source in Randolph County, West Virginia

Most Americans take drinking water for granted turn on the faucet and water flows out. But residents in West Virginia's southern Randolph County don't have a reliable source of drinking water. They soon will because of a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Public Law-566 project that will provide clean and abundant water. The Elkwater Fork Dam, in the Upper Tygarts Valley River Watershed, is a project to supply safe drinking water to 21,500 residents.

This is a unique project to NRCS in West Virginia utilizing roller-compacted concrete (RCC) to provide the 54-acre water supply impoundment. Most West Virginia dams provide flood protection. The Elkwater Fork Dam's primary purpose is water supply.

The project planning began after a 1993 drought. A town requested NRCS assistance in identifying an alternate water supply source. In 1995, NRCS received authorization and funding to initiate a study to identify and address natural resource problems common to all the affected communities. In 2001, NRCS completed the Watershed Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A design for the water supply dam was completed by Architect-Engineer (A&E) contract administered by West Virginia NRCS.

Federal, state, and local partners worked together for funding. Federal sources provided $23 million (75%) for the project through the NRCS PL 566 program. State and local partners provided $8 million (25%) and acquired land needed for the project. West Virginia NRCS is responsible for contract administration and quality assurance. It is expected the 32 million dollar construction contract, the largest ever administered by NRCS, will be completed in the late spring of 2008.

Other Project Sponsors and Partners include:

  • Upper Tygart Valley Watershed Partnership
  • Randolph County Commission
  • Town of Huttonsville
  • West Virginia Conservation Agency
  • Huttonsville Public Service District
  • Town of Beverly
  • Town of Mill Creek
  • City of Elkins
  • Tygarts Valley Conservation District

The dam is 123 foot tall─from top to bottom it is about as tall a 12-story building. The reservoir could fill with two or three large storms but it could take up to six months.

The Huttonsville Public Service District is seeking funds to construct a water treatment facility near the reservoir and to construct water transmission lines to convey treated water to local communities.

The concrete damn was built by West Virginia a small family owned construction company. Most of the crew is from the Randolph County area and 80 percent of the materials used to build the dam come from West Virginia. Go to http://www.wv.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/watershed/elkwater/constructionphotos.html to see construction photos.

Project benefits include

  • Providing a water supply for public water service customers in the Upper Tygarts Valley River Watershed.
  • Eliminating water withdrawals from the Upper Tygarts Valley River and tributaries exceeding WV withdrawal limitations.
  • Improving human health and safety by providing sufficient water to meet sanitary and fire protection needs.
  • Incidental recreational uses including angler access.

The reservoir will serve the towns of Valley head, Monterville, Mingo, Huttonsville, Mill Creek, Valley Bend, Dailey, Beverly, and Elkins in Randolph County and some areas in Pocahontas County.

The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (PL-566) authorizes the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to help local organizations and units of government plan and implement watershed projects. Projects can include flood prevention and damage reduction, development of rural water supply sources, erosion and sediment control, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, wetland creation and restoration, and increased recreational opportunities.
 

 

This is a unique project to NRCS in West Virginia utilizing roller-compacted concrete (RCC) to provide the 54-acre water supply impoundment. This is a unique project to NRCS in West Virginia utilizing roller-compacted concrete (RCC) to provide the 54-acre water supply impoundment.
The roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam is 123 foot high─about as tall a 12-story building. The roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam is 123 foot high─about as tall a 12-story building.
Federal, state, and local partners worked together for funding. Federal, state, and local partners worked together for funding.