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A partnership between the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District and the West Virginia Rivers Coalition has assisted 22 homeowners in the Harpers Ferry area to address failing septic systems.

The now-completed project spent $7,500 from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to provide free septic pumping for the homeowners to improve water quality of the Elks Run Watershed, a source of public water for the towns of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar.

Homeowners living in the housing neighborhoods of Engle Crossing, Gap View Village, Meadow Brook, Norwood, Stafford and Stonebrook had their septics cleaned for free, according to the coalition.

Pumping the septic systems will help prevent fecal coliform bacteria from contaminating the watershed, according to West Virginia Rivers Coalition, a nonprofit group the working to improve the health of the state’s rivers and streams.

The Elks Run Watershed is currently “impaired” with fecal coliform pollution, according to the coalition.

The Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, a federally funded environmental conservation agency, assisted with the project.

For more information about other conservation programs, visit the West Virginia Rivers Coalition website at wvrivers.org.

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