WV Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

West Virginia DHHR is offering a new program available to low-income households. The West Virginia Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) will offer assistance to eligible households with services that have been disconnected or are pending disconnection. These eligible households may receive up to $1,000 when water and sewage is included in the same bill, or $500 towards the payment of each of their water and sewage bills when services are billed separately. Eligible households seeking assistance that have current bills with no past due balance may receive up to $500 when their water and sewage is included in the same bill, or $250 towards the payment of each when the services are billed separately. Payments will be paid by voucher. A one-time payment is made during a fiscal year period and the payment cannot create a credit balance. LIHWAP will be available until September 30, 2023.

For more information on the program, click here.

Fats, Oil and Grease

Overflows and sewer backups are commonly caused by fats, oils and grease (FOG). FOG gets into the sewer from household drains and neglected grease interceptors at businesses and restaurants. The FOG blocks sewer pipes, causing health hazards and leading to expensive fixes.

Using the garbage disposal does not alleviate FOG from entering your drain and sticking to the sides of pipes leading from the house to the street. Likewise, the dishwasher only cleans dishes, it does not remove grease. Running hot water down the sink with grease only pushes the grease further down the pipes which compounds the problem.

Please keep the following out of your drains and dishwasher:
• Butter
• Shortening
• Peanut Butter
• Meat Trimmings
• Vegetable, Canola or Olive oil or cooking oils
• Bacon or Sausage fat
• Gravy
• Mayonnaise

All of the above should be poured into a heat-resistant or other appropriate container and disposed of after cooling in the garbage, not poured down the drain.

Help protect your household and utility system pipes by keeping Fats, Rags, Oils and Grease out of the sewer system.

REMEMBER TO CALL THE CHARLES TOWN UTILITY BOARD IMMEDIATELY at (304) 725-2316 if you notice odors, roots, blockages or overflows. CTUB staff will assist and check the public sewer main and your lateral if a clean-out is available. If the problem is not in the City main, we will advise you to contact a plumber or sewer/drain cleaning service.

Cold Weather Preparation

Is your home ready for the cold? It doesn’t take long for meters and pipes to freeze during cold temperatures, especially below 32 degrees. If your pipes or meter freeze, you will not have water. With colder temps, it is important to protect your pipes as much as possible.

Here are some helpful tips:

When Temperatures Dip, let it Drip!
To keep water flowing through the pipes in your home, let one cold water faucet run at a pencil size stream. To re-use, place a jug underneath to catch the drips and use it to water indoor
plants. The amount of water used for this purpose costs significantly less than it would cost to fix the damage from a frozen pipe or replace a meter.

Insulate your Pipes
Insulate your pipes in unheated spaces like the garage and under cabinets along outside walls. Pipe insultation is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at any home improvements or hardware store.

Set the Thermostat
Whether you’re at home or away traveling, set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees. Travelers will often make the mistake of turning thermostats off thinking it will save on heating bills, when in reality frozen pipes and damage to personal property could result.

Water Operator of the Year Award

At a recent employee picnic of the Charles Town Utility Board, Chief Water Operator, Chris Hutzler, received a prestigious award presented by the West Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association. Chris had the honor of receiving the 2021 Perkins Boynton Award for Large Systems in recognition of outstanding water treatment plant operator performance. With over 25 years of water treatment experience, Chris is a great asset to the Charles Town Utility Board.

Pictured here is CTUB employee, Chris Hutzler and the Mayor of Charles Town, Bob Trainor.

Tree Planting at Evitts Run Park

The Charles Town Utility Board was chosen by the City of Charles Town Tree Board to participate in the City’s second “Social Distancing Tree Planting” event this week. The City of Charles Town Tree Board received a grant through Cacapon Institute’s CommuniTree program to plant 16 trees this Spring at Evitts Run Park. Charles Town Utility Board staff members were happy to support this great source water protection activity. #HistoricallyHIP #socialdistancetree #canyoudigit


Ways to Protect the Utility System

Be mindful of what you flush down your toilet, that could lead to costly sewer backups in your home or in the sanitary sewer system. Items can create blockages in pipes or cause damage to expensive equipment used in the wastewater treatment plant.

Please DO NOT flush the following items:
~ Baby wipes or diapers
~ Flushable wipes – they are not actually flushable
~ Aquarium gravel or kitty litter
~ Sanitary napkins
~ Rags
~ Cotton swabs, sponges
~ Toys
~ Plastic or rubber items of any kind
~ Food wrappers
~ Clothing

“Flushable” wipes cause millions of dollars in damage to infrastructure in the United States each year. Rags and wipes mix with the fats, oils and grease (FOG) in plumbing fixtures and can create large sewer blockages. Wipes are often marketed as a good alternative to toilet paper but since they do not break down, this sometimes requires crews to unclog pipes and pumps as well as replace and upgrade equipment. Next time you debate about whether to flush an item other than toilet paper, simply put it in the trashcan or dispose of properly.