30 min

Small Town, Big Struggles In Deep

    • Earth Sciences

Today we leave the big cities behind and ask: How does rural America manage its water infrastructure? After all, one in five U.S. households isn’t connected to a sewer system. We visit the rolling mountains of Letcher County, Kentucky. There, in the early 1900s, coal mining firms built company towns with little attention to long-term infrastructure. Decades later, local residents are dealing with the consequences. We hear from former coal miner Carroll Smith about his push in the 1990s to bring clean drinking water and safe wastewater disposal to communities across the county. And we learn where he ran into challenges.

Guests:


Upmanu Lall, Director of the Columbia Water Center at Columbia University

Carroll Smith, former Judge Executive of Letcher County, Kentucky

Allan Tuggle, retired miner

Edna McBee, Millstone resident

Mark Lewis, General Manager, Letcher County Water and Sewer District




Photo: Britta Greene

Today we leave the big cities behind and ask: How does rural America manage its water infrastructure? After all, one in five U.S. households isn’t connected to a sewer system. We visit the rolling mountains of Letcher County, Kentucky. There, in the early 1900s, coal mining firms built company towns with little attention to long-term infrastructure. Decades later, local residents are dealing with the consequences. We hear from former coal miner Carroll Smith about his push in the 1990s to bring clean drinking water and safe wastewater disposal to communities across the county. And we learn where he ran into challenges.

Guests:


Upmanu Lall, Director of the Columbia Water Center at Columbia University

Carroll Smith, former Judge Executive of Letcher County, Kentucky

Allan Tuggle, retired miner

Edna McBee, Millstone resident

Mark Lewis, General Manager, Letcher County Water and Sewer District




Photo: Britta Greene

30 min

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