CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The spokesperson for West Virginia American Water Company says those with the company are still in talks with state officials about protocols for possible home water testing in areas where do-not-use water orders were issued following the Jan. 9 chemical leak on the Elk River.

Laura Jordan, though, said WVAW officials do not think such home testing is necessary since, she argued, ongoing testing in other areas continued to show levels of MCHM were non-detectable throughout most of the company’s 1,700 mile long water system in parts of nine counties.

“When we confirm that the water in the water system is at completely non-detectable levels, that is the water that is then entering into customers’ homes.  That’s the water that goes right up to their water meters, through the mains, right in front of their houses,” said Jordan on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

She said, more than a month after the leak, WVAW was providing water with largely non-detectable MCHM levels and going out to do repeat flushing in areas where there were continued odor complaints.

“That is sufficient for making sure that the water entering customers’ homes is also at acceptable levels, but we’ll continue to work with the governor’s office,” said Jordan.

“We are looking at a plan to go in to sample certain homes,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said earlier this week.  Those with WVAW, the Bureau for Public Health and the West Virginia National Guard were discussing protocols, but no such plan had been finalized as of Friday.

Jordan said many variables are involved in home testing.  “The part of a customer’s in-home plumbing, service lines to their home, etc., those are not fixtures that we own, that is not something that our employees are authorized (to do) to go into customers’ homes to do any type of work,” she said.

“That is where we have drawn the line, is making sure that our system and the water going to customers’ homes, through our system, is perfectly acceptable.”

On Wednesday, House Speaker Tim Miley (D-Harrison, 48) and House Minority Leader Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha, 40) sent a letter to Gov. Tomblin requesting that a representative sample of homes be tested for crude MCHM and PPH.  They asked that the state conduct the testing and West Virginia American Water Company pay for it.

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  • Ed Wouldn't

    Seems to me that if WVAmWater supplied contaminated water that trashed equipment "after the meter" the they'd be legally responsible for the replacement and/or repair.

  • Polly the Pundit

    Why is anyone even asking West Virginia American Water's oponion on this issue?

    They are already the defendant in at least a dozen or more civil suits related to how they handled this event. If MCHM turns up in home water systems, it is just more evidence against them and shows that they erred on their "flush" protocol(s) and/or haven't been fully open in their disclosures on levels of MCHM in their system(s).

    They have a financial interest in making this event "go away" - they are not impartial.

    The interests of public safety and right-to-know far outweigh their biased position.

    Thank you Ms. Jordan for your input, now go back to hiding from the press and let impartial testing move forward.


    A prominent West Virginia politician is urging citizens to not drink the water despite officials saying it is ‘appropriate’ for use.

    Senator Jay Rockefeller (D) told a Charleston television station that state officials are in bed with the energy industry and that people should further question both the potability of their water and how those relationships affect authorities’ judgement.

    ‘Even if some expert group told me it was safe, I don’t think I’d believe it,’ Rockefeller told WCHS during a blistering interview railing against both the state and heavy industry.


  • Local yoakal

    Just some perspective of what we are looking at. Analysis time per sample about 15-20 minutes, 300,000 homes to be tested. This would require a single instrument to run 24/7/365 for 8.5 YEARS. 10 instruments just a little over a year at 24/7/365. This considering there is no down time, no maintenance issues, and can be staffed at all hours of the day. This is not CSI people when test results just spit out of an instrument every 5 seconds but that what people think.

  • BIM Job

    It is amazing to me they want to continue to talk about what level is "acceptable". I dont want to hear it. No level is "acceptable" for me to give my family. People, we need to wake up and demand some answers.

  • anoa changa

    I spoke with a technician friday morning. I have tried to flush my home per the "official" protocol three times since we were first lifted on January 14. I was told by the technician there are pockets in areas where the zone flush may not have been effective. WV American Water has previously acknowledged that areas with dead ends (as in the WCHS story about the fort hill family) may have difficulty being flushed out. These areas require technicians to come out and flush the main line. So to say that the water coming out of the treatment facility is the same as our homes ignores several facts, known to the company about our piping system. Also during my conversation with the local technician I was given a completely different set of flush protocols than the "official" ones. He said that teh protocol has evolved as they have learned more about the differences in people's systems. He said that even the type and size of your water heater can make a difference in your ability to adequately purge the system. McIntyre and Jordan's continued insistence to the contrary is gross negligence.

  • tw eagle

    the WVAW sounds just like the ex-governor of new jersey(Christy Whitman) making her pronouncement that there was nothing unsafe in the "rubble cleanup" after 9/11 . . . Geeze , guess she missed on that one . . . and I got big reservations about an industry & politicians trying to sweep a major health hazard ( maybe not as many bodies included) under the proverbial rug . . .something really "smells" here besides the licorice odor of contaminants . . .

  • sammy

    I would like to see Laura Jordan's hair start falling out and that mole on her face start to glow in the dark from the water that she says she is using and telling us it is acceptable!

  • Constance Sloan

    What is "acceptable " water? Acceptable for what? And why do they draw the line at the meter? My meter is about 15-20 feet from my house. If there is residue in the water tank I suppose it's my fault
    I realize initially the water was poisoned by Freedom but WVAW should have shut down immediately to take measures to keep the poisoned water from entering the system and later to change the filters. Chances are good our plumbing has been compromised and we need new water heaters

  • Parker Bazzle

    What a bunch of crap. Knowingly deliver poison to our lines and then claim no responsibility or accountability. My water did not stink until they started flushing and I followed wvaw flushing instructions. This was created by freedom but ultimately in my plumbing because the water company delivered it well after they knew it was there.

    • Serenity Firefly

      Agree with you about responsibility. WVAW knew water was contaminated and delivered it to our home plumbing, told us to flush it through all our fixtures. They gave instructions to assure contamination of our whole-house plumbing systems and to dump the toxin into the sanitary sewer system.

      If they wanted their responsibility to stop at the meter, they should have flushed from hydrants and towers and hauled this chemical away, instead of running it through every supply and drain line in 9 counties.

  • The bookman

    Sounds like they are staking out a position that in home contamination is the home owner's responsibility. Which makes me think home contamination of plumbing and fixtures and hot water tanks might be likely, as they are drawing the line at the meter. On and on this continues.......

  • Cigarman

    If I can smell it, it's there. I can smell it!