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After 17 years, West Virginia town has access to clean water

Large white sink with running water tap in a airy, light, home kitchen environment.

O’TOOLE, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia town that spent the past 17 years living under a boil water advisory finally has access to clean water.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the McDowell County Public Service District completed its takeover of the O’Toole water system last week. O’Toole homes had struggled with foul-smelling, discolored water piped in by its water association, created by a coal company when the area was a coal camp in the mid-1900s without much maintenance since.

The takeover began last year and its completion means residents no longer have to ration clean water or gather it from mountain springs. Sixty-four-year-old Carol Thompson has lived in O’Toole her whole life. She says using tap water feels unnatural as it’s something she’s never done before, but she’s happy it’s an option now.

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