Hurricane sues individual for water contamination

By Kyla Asbury | May 5, 2010

WINFIELD -- The City of Hurricane is suing a man after it claims he contaminated the water supply and the city had to clean it up.

On Nov. 23, 2008, Larry T. Sarver was using an industrial cleaning product to clean his driveway and after using three to five gallons of the cleaning product he rinsed his driveway off, causing the cleaning product to go into a tributary of Cow Creek through a storm water discharge pipe, according to a complaint filed April 22 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Soon after, Hurricane representatives discovered foam in the reservoir and treatment works of the city's water plant, according to the suit, and the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection performed an investigation and issued Sarver a notice of violation for discharging the cleaning product.

The city claims it shut down its water supply to its citizens to assure that the water was not harmful and attempted to clean up the contamination. It claims after the water was safe, it was able to begin providing water to its citizens again.

Hurricane claims it was forced to clean up the product that Sarver released into the city's water supply and its employees were forced to work numerous overtime hours to perform the cleanup.

The city claims Sarver's actions were negligent and it incurred damages because of his negligence.

Hurricane is seeking damages for its employees' overtime pay and other compensatory damages. It is being represented by Johnnie E. Brown and Andrew D. Byrd.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge O.C. Spaulding.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 10-C-148

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