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Water board mulls study for best dam placement

KINGWOOD — The Kingwood Water Works Board held a short meeting Wednesday evening to discuss updates about several current projects.

Potesta senior engineer Tim Rice, who is working with the board, said he sent hard copies of the Ashpole project study to the board. Ashpole is an impoundment the board is considering as a possible water source located on Caddell Mountain.

There was no further discussion.

Board members also discussed a task order for $32,000 for an engineering study to determine the best placement for new intakes near the Albright Dam.

Intake structures are used for collecting water from the surface sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs and conveying it further to the water treatment plant.

At an earlier meeting, DiReggi said the intakes on Cheat River serve 30% of the county.

According to the Fish and Wildlife Service website, the Albright Power Station Dam is a 12-foot low-head dam built in 1952 on the Cheat River to feed an adjacent power plant. The plant was permanently closed in 2012 with no viable options for future reopening.

Board President Robert DiRiggi said the next step in the project is to obtain a letter of intent from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Rice said the five generators ordered from Cleveland Brothers have been built and are in Texas. He said the generators had a total cost of $312,515 and will be delivered to individual sites as needed.

Of the five, one of the generators will go to the Kingwood Water Treatment Plant, one at the intermediate pumping station, one at the Whetsell Street Booster Station, one at the Kinny Booster Station, and one at the main storage tank.

When installed, the generators will take over to keep the water flowing in the event of a power outage.

Kingwood is the largest water producer in Preston County, serving about a third of the county’s water customers. There are 10 storage tanks, and between Kingwood and the former Public Service District 2 areas, there are 100 to 150 miles of line.

The next meeting of the Kingwood Water Works Board will be at 6:30 p.m. July 18.