CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Once water testing shows non-detectable levels of crude MCHM throughout West Virginia American Water Company’s system in parts of nine counties, the company will be moving to the next phase of its water emergency recovery plan which will include public outreach.
Laura Jordan, WVAW spokesperson, said she’s hoping the most distant reaches of the large system — those in parts of Cabell County and Boone County which were being tested on Tuesday and Wednesday — would come back negative for signs of the chemical combination that leaked on Jan. 9 by the weekend.
“Until we can get past this point, get to full, successful recovery, make this announcement to our customers, it’ll be after that time that we start working to plan all of these different face-to-face interactions, presentations, community town hall meetings and that type of thing,” said Jordan.
Thursday marks three weeks since the leak of a mixture of crude MCHM and PPH was found at a tank farm owned by Freedom Industries along the Elk River in Kanawha County which serves as the water source for WVAW’s Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant.
Company officials have since said an estimated 10,000 gallons of the combined chemicals leaked.
Earlier this week, Jordan said test results from more than 85 percent of WVAW’s service area were showing no detectable levels of the chemicals.
Many people, though, were still not consuming their tap water. “I, personally, have been using it, drinking it, showering with it for the past two weeks or so, ever since my area was lifted,” said Jordan, but she also said she understands the reluctance of others.
Jordan said questions can be directed to the 24-hour WVAW Customer Service Center at 1-800-685-8660. Information is also available online at westvirginiaamwater.com.