Office of Communications
For more information contact:

Joe Thornton
Office of Communications & Legislative Affairs
West Virginia Department of health and Human Resources
Phone: 304-558-7899 Fax: 304-558-7075
Cell: 304-546-7960 e-mail:

For immediate release

Public availability meeting scheduled to discuss health consultation

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health, has completed its investigation into environmental concerns raised by residents near Williamson, in Mingo County. The investigation was funded by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

The public availability meeting will be held May 3 from 5 - 7 p.m. at the Mingo County Board of Education Office, WV Route 52, five miles south of Williamson. Officials will be on hand to answer questions and address concerns.

The health consultation was completed on various sites in the Lick Creek, Rawl Merrimac and Sprigg areas of Williamson. The study found that many private wells in the area contain water with high concentrations of manganese and sulfates. The amount of these chemicals in some of the private wells was at levels dangerous to infants and individuals with liver or gastrointestinal disease if used as drinking water. The source of the contamination is presently unknown.

The report recommends that infants should not be given formula made from local well water. Residents with liver or gastrointestinal disease should consult with a physician to determine their course of action concerning consumption of the well water in the area.

For more information contact the Office of Environmental Health Services at 304-558-2981.