PSD plans to upgrade pump station

MILL CREEK – The Huttonsville Public Service District Board of Directors voted Thursday to use $109,000 in federal stimulus money to upgrade the pump station in Valley Bend.

The Huttonsville PSD plans to work in conjunction with Thrasher Engineering to secure the funding for the project. Dave Watson and Dan Ferrell of Thrasher took the floor at Thursday’s meeting to explain a resolution that would allow them to use the stimulus funding to perform maintenance on the pump station. A number of Valley Bend residents have struggled with surface water on their property as a result of overflow from the pump.

The upgrade will increase the pump rate as well as the volume of the water in the pipes and will work to minimize the water issues in the area, Watson said.

Pat Shreve, the chief waste water operator for the Huttonsville PSD, said the upgrades will allow him to control the flow of the water coming into the system. Shreve said the board still plans to install a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) system that will drain much of the surface waste water left over from excessive rains, chlorinate the water and then deposit it in the river.

“This is a temporary solution,” Ferrell said. “This buys the PSD some time; it buys the waste water operators time. And it serves as a bridge for what you are trying to do (with the SSO).”

Huttonsville PSD officials said they are keeping their options open.

“We are not even sure if we can use the money yet, but Thrasher Engineering is helping us work that out,” said Louise McAtee, the PSD’s general manager. “There are a lot of stipulations as to how the money can be used.”

The SSO has been a source of controversy among some residents in the area. On March 11, more than 50 residents from the Valley Bend and Dailey area attended a public meeting at the Dailey Fire Hall to express their concerns regarding the contamination of the waste water going through the SSO system. On March 21, the Huttonsville PSD responded by reporting to The Inter-Mountain the waste water would contain contamination levels consistent with that of rain water.

Valley Bend resident Andy Wamsley, a former Randolph County commissioner, and his wife, Janice, have said they attribute damage to their property and the death of some of their livestock to exposure to raw sewage.

Wamsley raised his concerns to the Huttonsville PSD in September, asking for a solution to the problem. He wrote in a letter to the PSD that after the area received two rains and about four to five inches of water he noticed sewage was overflowing from the pipes leading from the pump on his property.

The Board of Directors for the Huttonsville PSD will meet again on April 24.

Contact Chad Clem by email at