Preston County fights for clean drinking water

PRESTON COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - Clean drinking water is something that's easy to take for granted, but families in Preston County have been forced to live otherwise.

Candi Sisler, who grew up in Preston County, is now running for the house of delegates in her district in hopes of enacting change to fix the drinking water problem that has impacted her personally.

"This is a sample of my well water, it's very orange,"

Not only is Sisler's water undrinkable, it's orange color causes other issues.

"Even with a filter, it stains our clothing orange," Sisler said "We don't drink it, when it boils there's like this little flick above the water, you can't even boil it to use it,"

Sisler says she one of a number of families living with unusable water.

"We are one of probably 30 to 40 households that don't have access to city water at all,"

Sisler is also a teacher, and she says she sees this impacting her student's families.

"I'm a teacher here and I see a lot of the parents of the children I have in my class post pictures of their water that looks just like my well water, which is very concerning,"

Sisler says the city's water line stops about three miles outside her home, and that the county doesn't have the funding to extend it.

"The municipality is struggling with the funds to solve this problem when we live in the richest country in the world, in a state with tremendous natural resources,"

But, Sisler says it's not just fund standing in the way of a solution, but also the lack of regulation.

"The regulations for the water have not been updated in over 20 years,"

That's why Sisler, along with other concerned parents and residents, are taking charge by running for local political positions and meeting with political influencers like 2020 candidate for senate Stephen Smith.

But local principal and national guard veteran Justin Hough, who is also running for the house in his district, says the issue goes beyond party lines.

"Basically I was hear to say today that this isn't a democratic issue, it isn't a republican issue, an independent issues, a libertarian issue, this is a people issue," Hough said