Evarts council talks water issues

Published 4:15 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Evarts City Council held a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 30, to address the state of the city’s water system, resulting in the council authorizing a search for funding to be used to repair the city’s decades-old water system.

Evarts City Clerk Kristi Lamb explained the purpose of the meeting and the action taken during a telephone interview.

According to Lamb, the council voted unanimously to authorize City of Evarts Mayor Eddie Manning to take the necessary action to locate the approximately $5 million to $7 million dollars in funding needed to repair the city’s water system infrastructure. This would include water lines, valves, tanks, meters, leak detection equipment, basically any equipment that is not a part of the water treatment plant itself.

During the meeting, Manning brought the council up to speed on some of the issues the city is facing with the water system. He stated the city’s water infrastructure is approximately 60 years old, and the only solution is finding money to pay for repairs and upgrades.

The city of Evarts has been having problems with the water system for some time. Earlier in the week, Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley held a press conference to address the matter.

According to a previous report, Mosley stated there have been more than 40 water outages related to the Evarts water system since August, 2022, leading to multiple emergency declarations by both the city of Evarts and Harlan County.

“I believe there needs to be significant line replacements inside the city,” Mosley said. “There needs to be significant focus on leak detection. That is the most immediate thing the city can do to ensure this nightmare goes away.”

Mosley placed importance on the process of leak detection, which is a necessary tool to deal with the issue of water loss within the system.

“Water loss has to decrease,” Mosley said. “The only way it can decrease is we aren’t just looking for leaks in a crisis…leak detection has to occur every day.”