CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha Public Service District has received nearly $1 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District to be put toward the Lens Creek sewer line extension project.

A partnership agreement was signed during a ceremony Friday morning at the Kanawha County Courthouse.

The project is meant to replace failing septic tanks that currently run into Lens Creek which dumps into the Kanawha River at Marmet.

“This really pollutes the water and can cause many diseases when people put open sewage into the streams, so it’s a public health concern,” said Paula Kaufman, director of planning for Kanawha County.

Nearly 450 people will benefit from the project. Phase 1 of the project will cover 230 homes, businesses and churches. Phase 2 will cover around the same amount.

Area residents have been working for more than 40 years to obtain sanitary sewer service.

David Anderson, a 45-year resident of Hernshaw, is glad to see the project come to fruition.

“Everyone has a septic system. Most of it goes into the creek. If it don’t directly, it does eventually, so this will really help up. I’m really glad,” Anderson said.

Kaufman said improvements will allow for better overall waste water treatment. She said, unfortunately, some areas of the county are still dealing with the septic tank issue.

“I think it’s a basic necessity that all people should have sewer and water. Most people in Kanawha County do, but there’s still many communities that we hear from on a daily basis that do not have sewer and water, so we’re very happy to be able to put in one more sewer project,” Kaufman said.

County officials said the project will also attract more recreational opportunities in the area like fishing and canoeing.

The money will fund a portion of the first phase of the project. The total project is expected to cost around $5.1 million.

The county is working to come up with design plan before breaking ground on the project.

Friday’s signing ceremony included remarks from Lt. Col. William “Josh” Miller from the Army Corp. of Engineers and Second District Congressman Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.).

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