CHARLESTON, W.Va. — New tests confirm there are no traces of MCHM in the tap water in parts of the nine West Virginia counties affected by the Jan. 9 chemical spill at Freedom Industries.
That’s according to the results of another round of testing West Virginia American Water Company conducted, earlier this month, using samples taken from 49 points throughout the company’s 1,900-mile distribution system.
Water for that entire system comes from the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant.
“There’s no detection whatsoever of MCHM,” said Laura Jordan, spokesperson for WVAWC. “We certainly hope this helps bring some sense of certainty to the customers who still may have had some uncertainty. We have been confident in the quality of water for some time now.”
The water samples were collected between June 5 and June 11 after WVAWC finished a more than $1 million project to change out nearly one million pounds of carbon within the 16 filters at the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant. Two samples were taken in each of the 24 zones that were part of January’s do not use order.
Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories performed the testing using the lowest existing detection level for MCHM.
Last Thursday and Friday, though, two separate overflows happened at a stormwater trench at the Freedom Industries site in Kanawha County which is in the process of being leveled.
“We did testing following both Thursday’s and Friday evening’s stormwater overflows that were reported to us. Not only was there no detection of any MCHM in samples taken inside the plant, but also from samples taken in the Elk River at the intake site,” Jordan said.
“There’s no reason to believe water quality was impacted in any way.”
More than five months have passed since an estimated 10,000 gallons of MCHM and another coal processing chemical spilled from a faulty storage tank at Freedom Industries into the Elk River which feeds the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant about a mile downstream.
Jordan said she’s hoping the latest tests answer any questions WVAWC customers may still have about the quality of their water. “This was just another effort that we made voluntarily to help our customers feel confident in their water again,” she said.
The full test results are available here.