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Water in Letcher declared OK

FRANKFORT — State officials have lifted a water advisory in Letcher County that had kept people from drinking or bathing in the county's tap water all week because it had been contaminated by oil.

The Kentucky Division of Water announced Thursday night that an analysis of both raw and treated water at the Whitesburg and Letcher County water systems found no evidence of contaminants.

Petroleum had been found in the local utility's water supply Saturday, after residents complained of a gasoline smell in their water.

The contamination shut down Letcher County schools and forced customers to find other sources of drinking water. Customers were told to use the water only for flushing toilets.

The Division of Water says cleanup efforts are continuing at the site of a waste petroleum seepage into the North Fork of the Kentucky River, about a mile above the water plant's raw water intake.

The contamination is under investigation, and citations are possible.

The Division of Water advised residents to flush pipes for several minutes when they resume water use.

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