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Martin County Water advocates making their voices heard

Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 11:42 PM EDT
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Access to clean and quality drinking water is a problem residents in Martin County have faced for some time. The movement for access to clean and quality drinking water in Martin County is bringing advocates from cities like Newark, New Jersey.

“If it takes me driving ten hours to Kentucky I’m willing to do that. I’m willing to lend my voice for the movement,” Anthony Diaz, Co-founder of the Newark Water Coalition. " If you can bathe if you can’t cook then how do you live life? And we allow these situations to be normalized. It’s not normal to fill up a jug at the spring especially in 2020."

It’s a necessity, residents say they won’t stop fighting for.

“I have tried my best to avoid the water, but you still have to bathe. I have to use it. What damage has been done is done to me,” said BarbiAnn Maynard, longtime water advocate, and Martin County resident.

Maynard says she’s fighting for the next generation.

“I’m fighting for the little kids who go to recess or PE and go to the water fountain. To me, that’s like being led to the slaughter. I’m fighting for them now,” Maynard said.

While improving the water is a work in progress, Maynard says things are beginning to flow in the right direction as the replacement of infrastructure began on a project introduced by former Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin in 2018.

The $1.2 million project replaced a portion of old water lines and meters with new ones in the Warfield- Lovely area of Martin County.

“We’re basically starting from scratch in Martin County,” Maynard said. "In September we started to physically address the problems. We’re a long way from that 12-mile stretch that we’re replacing... there are a lot more lines that need to be replaced

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