Preliminary Phase of In-Home Testing Nearly Completed

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The preliminary phase of the in-home water testing program launched by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is near completion.

Governor Tomblin tells so far crews have tested eight homes. A total of 10 homes are being tested during this part of the program.

Tomblin says they will be able to build a more widespread program with the results they get from these tests.

The state hired Andrew Whelton, from the University of South Alabama, as one of the scientists to conduct the tests.

The preliminary tests have been completed in Kanawha, Cabell, Boone, Clay and Logan counties. 90 water samples are taken from each home.

"We have noticed that odor, drinking water odors in different houses had some differences," Whelton said. "We have also noticed there are sometimes different odors in different parts of the house from the tap so the kitchen sink may have a different odor than the bathroom tub, water coming into the bathroom tub, and we have detected the licorice odor."

Experts say the study has a three phase approach. They will test the drinking water quality. Then, they will assess the health risks. The third will be to determine at what level people can smell the MCHM or that licorice smell in the water.

No results have been returned from the water testing.

A spokesperson with the governor's office tells more information will be released about the state's in home testing later this week.

The governor says the project will cost about $650,000. The governor plans to ask for federal assistance to help pay for it.

The testing of the water contaminated by the chemical spill at Freedom Industries has been going on since the incident happened on January 9.

However, many people are still using bottled water due to the lack of faith the water is safe. The state decided to do in-home testing to hopefully give people more confidence in their water supply.

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