WVAW Ends Bulk Water Distribution, MCHM at Non-Detectable Levels

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia American Water has ended bulk water distribution after a chemical spill contaminated water for nearly 300,000 people in nine counties.

WVAW announced Monday the results of testing for MCHM at all testing points in all zones throughout the company’s Kanawha Valley water distribution system are at the lower non-detectable level of below two parts per billion (ppb). That is 500 times below the protective standard established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which is 1 part per million (ppm).

“Since February 14th, we have worked with laboratories to test down to 2ppb or less of MCHM, and as of February 25th, levels of the chemical are below this non-detect threshold throughout the water distribution system,” said West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre. “More than 30 employees from American Water subsidiaries in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois have worked tirelessly with our West Virginia employees to flush approximately 2,000 small dead end water mains in the system. Now that we no longer have detectable levels of MCHM throughout our distribution system and have assisted Queen Shoals PSD to also achieve this in their system, we have concluded our systematic flushing operations in the Kanawha Valley.”

According to a news release, West Virginia American Water will continue to respond to customer reports of any odor issues.

The water in the distribution system has been below the CDC-established protective standard of 1ppm since January 18, according to a news release.

West Virginia American Water has officially ended its bulk water distribution. The company intended to continue distributing bulk water
through Wednesday, March 5, but the weather has caused the WVAW to end it earlier.

“West Virginia American Water is proud to have provided clean, safe water to West Virginians for nearly 130 years, and throughout this event our primary focus has always been the safety of our customers,” McIntyre said “We take pride in our exemplary record of providing clean, safe water to approximately 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and 550,000 throughout West Virginia, now and into the future.”

On January 9, MCHM leaked from a storage tank at Freedom Industries along Barlow Drive in Kanawha County. A "do not use" water order was in effect for several days following the spill.

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