Wednesday morning update: West Virginia American Water lifted the Do Not Use order in parts of Dunbar, Nitro, Sissonville, Poca, Bancroft, Winfield, Buffalo and Staves Branch late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Consult the link to the map below with your exact address to see if your area has been lifted.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia American Water Company apologized Tuesday afternoon for the delay in lifting the next zone under the Do Not Use water order.

“We are sorry the next order lift is taking so long. The ban is being lifted in a strict, methodical manner to help ensure the water system is not overwhelmed by excessive demand, thereby causing more water quality and service issues. Thank you again for your continued patience,” the company said on its website.

The delay likely contributed to the decision by the Kanawha County school system to cancel classes again for Wednesday. WVAWC did announce at 4 p.m. the South Hills area of Charleston near George Washington High School had been lifted.

The company made further progress by Tuesday evening when it announced at just before 6:30 that it had lifted the order for Alum Creek, Upper Falls and a small section of Putnam County.

(The company issued a status update Tuesday evening.)

(West Virginia American Water interactive map on zones)

WVAWC spokesperson Laura Jordan said Tuesday on MetroNews Talkline the zone-by-zone lifting of the order, which began Monday evening, was continuing at a slow but sure pace.

“We may be able to refine some of those groupings,” Jordan said. “We are kind of grouping some of the smaller zones together to allow more customers to come back on depending on how the samples come in.”

Two zones were lifted Tuesday morning, Edgewood and Southside, but no other zones were added to the list by mid-afternoon.

WVAWC’s Kanawha Valley water plant was inundated with the chemical Crude MCHM Thursday after it spilled from the Freedom Industries storage facility less than two miles above the plant on the Elk River. A Do Not Use order went into effect that evening. It began to be lifted Monday afternoon. The flat areas of Charleston and South Charleston were first.

Jordan said predicting when all customers in the nine-county region would be back on is difficult.

“We really cannot determine that. It’s really all based on demand, production and samples,” she said.

(Instructions on how to flush home system)

Experts continue to test the water quality through the system.

“We see how the system is reacting to all of the flushing that’s going on and how production is able to keep up with demand. The last thing that we want to happen is to lift an area, tell them their water is okay to use after they flush, and then not have water to use for them after flushing.”

Jordan said there have been continuing reports of a strong licorice odor in the water.

“We’re told that it’s a chemical (Crude MCHM) that’s got quite an odor to it in very, very, very small amounts and just because you can smell it does not mean there’s any health risk,” Jordan said.

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  • Larry

    Ruth, according to the map, Allens Fork, off of Rt.21, where the DOH garage is, is in the blue, you should also get a phone call when your area is cleared, you could also check with a neighbor if possible.

  • Ruth A. Harvey

    I live north of Sissonville on Allen Fork in Kanawha county zip 25320 I have no idea where the water ban is lifted could I please get an e mail to tell me where you are in the Sissonville area.
    Ruth Harvey

  • 5toldU1s

    Did it strike anyone else as hilarious/depressing to read the Daily Mail caption of the below-the-fold photo? The caption reads "Al Jones of the WV General Services Division tests the water as he flushes the faucet and opens a rest room on the first floor of the state Capitol" So the tester is drawing vials of water and dipping a test strip? No. Is he packing up vials of water and sending them to the lab? No. What is he doing? Scooping up the water in his hand and SMELLING IT!
    Really puts your faith in the system, no?

  • frank vinndale

    my area said it was clear and I did the process to flush but after my water had a smell and had dirt in it

  • Jim N Charleston

    I've seen House of Delegate district maps that make more sense.

    One plant because the public service commission allowed a monopoly on water. The result is one plant which is in Charleston & Kanawha County (which is great for tax purposes for Charleston & Kanawha County) and 2000 miles of water lines made up of what at one time had 5 more smaller water plants that worked great in 4 other counties. Brilliant moves!!!!

    Im Jim N Miami on R&R & happy happy

    • Larry

      I agree Jim, this system is just too big, over 300,000 people served, around 1,500 miles of line, and all of it fed by one water source, at the mouth of the Elk River, rife with illegal sewers along much of its 172 mile course.

  • cutty77

    It will be over when its over. Tuesday of next week everything should be up and running. I mean all businesses and everything. You can't point and click your way to happiness. These Guys from WVAW are working around the clock. Quit complaining about it all.

    • Mike

      Sounds like a person who has clean water flowing.

  • Larry

    I don't know about everyone else, but looking at this map I really think the system is just too big to have just one water source. I know a lot of people will disagree with this, but I also think they have lines run where they never should have been, I've seen places where you can drive over a mile, and there are no houses, but a fire hydrant every 1/10 mile. As much as we would like it, you just can't run public water everywhere to everyone.

  • JamieNitro

    Have they stopped releasing areas to flush? The map was last updated at 7:30 this morning (yes I've done the cntrl F5). Also, I've tried calling the "dedicated" 855 number and the 800 number and cannot get through. I've heard a rumor that they have actually started removing areas from the all clear list. Can anyone provide any answers?

    • Shauna Johnson

      There was a delay on Tuesday. Southridge and the Southside were cleared around 7:30 a.m.

      It was 4 p.m. before South Hills, in the area of George Washington High School, went blue.

      At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, residents in the Alum Creek and Upper Falls areas were given the okay to start the flushing process.

      Company officials apologized for the delay. "The ban is being lifted in a strict, methodical manner to help ensure the water system is not overwhelmed by excessive demand, thereby causing more water quality and service issues," the company said.

    • a miss's stone

      governer tomlin will take car of us all

      • BigMo

        Earl Ray.....That hillbilly does not even have a full set of teeth. How is he going to save you? He sounds like the typical southern West Virginia Red Neck which he is....comes across great on national TV, real polished. Just another coalfield political hack that got he job by default. Probably end driven cab like past governors.

  • Craig

    Wvaw is not being honest the water is not safe. One damn thing for sure is they are slow slow slow. Shame on wvaw.

    • Jake

      Please show us your research showing how the water is unsafe. You seem to have valuable information that you are withholding from the public.

      • Charleston,WV

        Agreed Mike.

      • Mike

        You show us real research that it is safe. None exists. The one part per million is a guess.

  • I say

    Not only can I still smell it, but I can still taste it.

    I'm sticking to bottled water for drinking until the water is back to what it was before.

    • The bookman

      I remember reading that the odor would be detectable to a level of 0.1ppm, but would be safe at 1ppm. Out of an abundance of caution, as a father of 4, my children would not drink from the Elk, ever, unless we were fishing above Webster Springs. I would let them bathe in it and I would wash their clothes in it. Get a Primo water dispenser to minimize your plastic water bottle footprint on the planet. That's just me though.

    • Andy


      • a miss's stone