Community Celebrates Grand Opening of Water Kiosk in Rural Appalachia

Starting July 3, residents in Clay County, Kentucky, will no longer have to get their water from contaminated wells and streams thanks to the opening of a new water kiosk designed by an interdisciplinary team of UT faculty and students.

The kiosk will serve several thousand families.

waterkioskTo celebrate, community members are invited to the grand opening on Friday, July 3, at 6:00 p.m. at Red Bird Mission in Beverly, Kentucky, followed by a fireworks show hosted by the Volunteer Fire Department.

“The Red Bird Mission has a Fourth of July event every year, so we are utilizing this event to engage with the community to provide clean water education and information about the kiosk and how it works,” said Lisa Davenport, associate professor of nursing at UT and project director for the water kiosk. “We will also be collecting demographic information, baseline water knowledge surveys, and determining community members’ intent to use the kiosk.”

The project is part of The Appalachia Community Health and Disaster Readiness Project which combines the expertise of UT faculty and students from the College of Nursing, the College of Architecture and Design, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Law Enforcement Innovation Center to address Clay County’s needs alongside community partners.

“This type of successful collaboration wouldn’t have been possible without the support of UT students and faculty, community partners in Clay County, private donors, and local Knoxville business associates who championed this most significant project,” said Davenport.

For a nominal fee, residents will be able to obtain clean water as needed from the kiosk at Red Bird Mission, a project partner and agency that has been ministering in that region of Appalachia since 1921.

 

CONTACT:

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)