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WV American Water Plans To End Bulk Water Distribution; Company Says Tests For MCHM Now All At Lower Non-Detect Level

Reported: Mar. 3, 2014 4:05 PM EST
Updated: Mar. 4, 2014 8:31 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- West Virginia American Water announced Monday that it plans to end bulk water distribution, and results of testing for MCHM from the Freedom Industries spill throughout the Kanawha Valley water distribution system are at the lower non-detectable level of below two parts per billion (ppb).

The level in the announced testing is 500 times below the protective standard established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which is 1 part per million (ppm), according to a news release from the company.

According to the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, the CDC believes there is no evidence to suggest that levels below 10 ppb would have adverse health effects, including for pregnant women. On Feb. 20, West Virginia American Water announced that all points of testing throughout the water distribution system showed that levels of MCHM from the Freedom Industries spill were below 10 ppb level, but that the company would continue flushing to address odor issues.

“Since February 14th, we have worked with laboratories to test down to 2 ppb or less of MCHM, and as of February 25th, levels of the chemical are below this non-detect threshold throughout the water distribution system,” said West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre. “More than 30 employees from American Water subsidiaries in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois have worked tirelessly with our West Virginia employees to flush approximately 2,000 small dead end water mains in the system. Now that we no longer have detectable levels of MCHM throughout our distribution system and have assisted Queen Shoals PSD to also achieve this in their system, we have concluded our systematic flushing operations in the Kanawha Valley.”

West Virginia American Water said will continue to respond to customer reports of lingering odor. This is being done solely to address reports about odor and is not related to any health concerns. The water company said water in the distribution system has been below the CDC-established protective standard of 1 ppm since Jan. 18.

West Virginia American Water intended to continue distributing bulk water through Wednesday, March 5; however, due to weather forecasts for the rest of the week, the company is officially ending its bulk water distribution efforts.

To compensate customers for flushing their home water systems, West Virginia American Water customers may have or will shortly see credits on their bill. These credits are marked in a line entitled “Flushing Credit” and will be reflected on bills received from mid-February to mid-March, depending on when bills were generated.



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