UPDATE: Water in Ona, WV will be tested for MCHM; licorice odor - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Water in Ona, WV will be tested for MCHM after customers continue to complain of "licorice odor"

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Photo Courtesy : Ben Moore, Photojournalist Photo Courtesy : Ben Moore, Photojournalist


West Virginia American Water released results of water samples taken on March 19-20, 2014, in Ona, WV.

The results on March 19, 2014, from the interconnect site along Route 60 came back at 3ppb (parts per billion). All other locations tested came back at non-detectable levels of MCHM, according to results from West Virginia American Water.

Further testing at the interconnection site on March 20, 2014, came back at non-detectable levels of MCHM (ND<2ppb)



West Virginia American Water (WVAM) issued a news release on Friday, March 21, 2014 to announce it has now decided to take water samples and test for MCHM in the Ona, WV area.


WVAM officials said they decided to do this after residents reported a "licorice type" odor in their water similar to the smell residents in Charleston, WV say the noticed after the Jan. 9, 2014 chemical spill.


The results of testing will be made available to the public at westvirginiaamwater.com when all testing is complete, according to the same news release.


"Early Monday morning, a landslip caused two water main breaks along Water Street in Barboursville that drained the Barboursville water storage tank" said Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water. "Following normal response procedures crews opened a 16-inch interconnection between the Huntington and Kanawha Valley systems near Culloden to continue to provide water to approximately 1,500 customers in the Ona area while the Barboursville tank was recovering."


Over the past several months during the WVAM's response to the Freedom Industries spill, the hydrant closest to the valve that opens and closes this interconnection in the Ona area was flushed and also tested for MCHM.


WVAM officials said additional flushing occurred numerous times along this main transmission line in the area near the interconnection, according to the same news release.


Since Thursday, WVAM officials said they have received customer complaints that water in the Ona, WV had a strange smell. Some of these same customers complained it smelled like licorice. WVAM officials said an"odor" often occurs when water is removed from the main transmission line.


"Recent expert reports note that the odor threshold for this chemical is very low at 0.15 ppb," stated McIntyre. "However, we recognize that the presence of the odor is not acceptable to our customers and we are taking the action to test the water in order to provide our customers with assurance that water in the distribution system is below the CDC protective level as well as help remove the odor completely."


WVAM said water operations in Ona, WV have resumed to normal. However, they will continue to address customers concerns over the "licorice odor" or strange smell, according to the same news release.


Residents in Ona, WV say they have noticed a strange smell in their water. Customers in that town usually gets their water from tanks in Barboursville, WV according to officials with West Virginia American Water (WVAM).

This week, there were two water main breaks in Barboursville,WV, forcing WVAM to find an alternative water supply for Ona, WV customers as tanks were quickly emptied.

Ona, WV customers were supplied with water from Culloden, WV. And this is when they noticed a strange odor coming from their faucets. WVAM was called to check out the smell. They sent four employees to flush out lines in the area to resolve the problem. 

WVAM officials say Ona, WV customers are now back on-line and getting their water from Barboursville, WV tanks once again. Repairs have been made to water main breaks in Barboursville, WV and the storage tanks have been filled back up. 

WVAM say any time the water supply is switched out, customers can expect a "odor" of some kind. 

Residents tell wowktv.com they are still noticing the odor as of Tuesday evening, March 18. And they add it is a "licorice type" odor to it. They are concerned the water is contaminated with MCHM.  
Part of Culloden, WV was affected by the MCHM leak that occurred back in January and contaminated water supplies throughout the region. 

Ona, WV WVAM customers say they are concerned this part of Culloden, WV is where their water supply has been coming from for the past few days. 

Stay with wowktv.com. We will bring you the latest details on this developing story. 




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