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WV Tap Says There Could Be MCHM In Water Treatment Plant But More Testing Conducted

Reported: Mar. 25, 2014 10:40 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – The independent group hired by the state to conduct water tests following the Jan. 9 chemical spill that tainted the region’s water supply said there could be a level of MCHM in the West Virginia American Water treatment facility, but more testing is being conducted.

On March 18, the West Virginia National Guard collected a limited number of water samples in the Elk River downstream of the Freedom industries spill site, at the intake structure for West Virginia American Water treatment facility, and tap water from a home located near where treated water leaves the plant and enters the water distribution system, according to a news release from WV TAP.

The testing was done at the request of WV TAP and authorized by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Water testing results received by WV TAP on Friday showed MCHM was not present in either the river or entering the water treatment plant at a level of 0.5 ppb or greater.

Test results did reveal that MCHM was present in one of the homes of the first customers at a level less than 1.0 ppb, but greater than 0.5 ppb. This finding implied that there could be a source of MCHM in the water treatment facility, the news release said.

The levels found were less than both the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources 10 ppb screening level and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1,000 ppb screening level for MCHM. Based on this single sample, the WV Tap team said it believes that additional sampling would help in understanding the source, levels and extent of the MCHM occurrence.

On Friday, the WV TAP team contacted West Virginian American Water and recommended that water company conduct sampling before, within, and following its water treatment plant. The release said the water company responded immediately instituting a sampling program and delivered the samples on Saturday to the Eurofins Lancaster Laboratory Environmental in Lancaster, Pa. The Pennsylvania lab is one of the two laboratories that participated in the WV TAP project. Its minimum detection limit for MCHM was 0.5 ppb. The release said the water company intends to release the results of its sampling on Tuesday.



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