We applaud Middlebourne Council on their talk at Monday night's council meeting of being proactive in terms of protecting the quality of their water.
It is a wonderful idea to drill some water wells from which the city can get their water. As Mayor Charles Delauder said, the treatment of well water is easier and more economical than treating water from a body of water, such as Middle Island Creek. Also, as has been reported in the Tyler Star News recently, there have been some situations where runoff from a gas well site had the potential to damage Middlebourne's water since it is taken from the creek.
Thankfully it looks like no major damage was done and citizens can continue to trust their water. However, the potential for such compromises is always there.
Truthfully, water can always be compromised in other ways at various points along the supply chain, but starting with an underground source certainly eliminates some of the possibilities.
After the horrible experience we all watched the people of the Kanawha Valley endure rather recently with the Elk River Chemical spill (see more on this in Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's column, adjacent), water safety is certainly a very real concern.
The new legislation that requires a secondary water source, at least in the event of an emergency, is simply good planning. It is a contingency plan-something every utility and every citizen should have in the event an emergency should occur.
So kudos to Middlebourne for being proactive. We hope your wells are plentiful and the financing for your whole project can be secured. We don't have to tell anyone that water is an essential element to human life. It must be protected. We expected it to be provided through basic infrastructure. It needs to be secured.