UPDATE: Officials report no detection of MCHM after second overflow of storm water at Freedom Industries site
CHARLESTON, WV -
UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.
According to Kelley Gillenwater with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, they have received Freedom Industries' plan for preventing future overflow events at the site and is carefully reviewing the measures outlined in that plan. _____
UPDATE: 9:10 a.m.
In a news release issued from West Virginia American Water, overnight test results show no detection of MCHM in water at the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant following a second overflow of storm water at the Freedom Industries site Friday evening.
Six samples of raw (river) and treated water were taken at the plant at different times between 5:45 p.m. and 10 p.m., and were tested for MCHM. All results showed no detection.
According to Jeff McIntyre President of West Virginia American Water "Two back-to-back storm water overflows at the Freedom Industries site are completely unacceptable, and although water quality was not impacted, such events only serve to erode customer confidence in the water supply. On behalf of our customers, we urge those managing this site to improve their containment system and take additional steps to prevent such incidents."
Upon notification of the second overflow by the DEP Friday evening, West Virginia American Water took immediate action to consult with the Bureau for Public Health and take necessary precautions to further protect and monitor water quality. All water samples taken following both overflows showed no detection of MCHM.
_____ ALERT: Charleston, West Virginia-11:41 p.m.
For two nights in a row a stormwater overflow has been discovered at Freedom Industries.
Officials with West Virginia America Water tell us two tests have been conducted Friday evening after the water company was notified by the Department of Environmental Protection.
WV American Water Spokeswoman Laura Jordan tells 13News both tests have resulted in non-detect levels of MCHM.
"We certainly think this is unacceptable," Jordan said. "We're frustrated, as I'm sure the community is frustrated, and so are the regulators as this has happened two days in a row now. This is totally unacceptable."
She says the incident occurred sometime between 5 and 6 p.m. Friday evening.
Jordan says they'll run several more tests Friday night and should have more results around midnight Saturday. ____________________________ UPDATE: Charleston, West Virginia - 12:44 p.m. The Director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department says he was first notified of the problem at the Freedom site at 10 p.m. Thursday night. Dr. Rahul Gupta says he is closely monitoring water tests. He says people should not be concerned about health effects right now. He urges the DEP to work faster to get the Freedom site torn down and cleaned up so people can feel safe again.
UPDATE: Charleston, West Virginia - 12:18 p.m.
Kelley Gillenwater with the WV DEP says the trench where the overflow occurred was put in place after the Jan. 9 chemical leak that left 300,000 people in West Virginia without water for days.
West Virginia American Water was notified of the potential leak on June 12 within an hour of the DEP discovering it.
Gillenwater says the DEP held information on the overflow from public release because of the potential for panic and so that they could have as much information as possible before making an announcement. _____
UPDATE: Charleston, West Virginia - 11:33 a.m.
The West Virginia DEP released the results of eight samples they took after the leak at Freedom Industries on June 12.
Four of the samples were taken from the river and four samples were taken of treated water. None of the samples had detectable levels of MCHM. The DEP continues to use the 2 ppb level for testing.
The WV DEP is waiting on results from samples taken at the trench where the leak occurred.
UPDATE: Charleston, West Virginia - 10:30 a.m.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says that one of their inspectors inspected the trench on June 11 in the afternoon and aren't sure how long the leak occurred before a second inspector discovered it on June 12.
No problems were found during the first inspection but the second revealed that a sump pump that was in place to pump overflow to a storage tank at the site had stopped working, and the inspector restarted the pump, which stopped the overflow.
Testing done by West Virginia American Water hasn't detected any amounts of MCHM in their samples. _____
According to a news release from West Virginia American Water issued just before 7 a.m. June 13, "Initial test results show no detection of MCHM in water at the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant following an overflow of a storm water collection trench at the Freedom Industries site."
The press release continues: "Samples of raw (river) and treated water taken at the plant this [Thursday] evening were tested for MCHM and show no detection. Additional analyses are being performed overnight."
According to the WV American Water news release, "Although it was reported that a small amount of water overflowed and no odor was reported at the site, our company is working closely with the Bureau for Public Health and the WVDEP. Since being notified of the overflow, there has been no indication of MCHM in the Elk River at our intake or anywhere in the treatment plant processes."
The press release continues, "Staff members are constantly monitoring the situation, and we took the following precautionary steps:"
Those steps included: Plant operators increasing the amount of Powdered Activated Carbon to provide additional absorptive capacity in the treatment process as a precaution; Additional personnel brought in to constantly monitor the raw water; River water plumbed directly into the plant laboratory for monitoring, and operators are also heating samples of water to enhance the detection of any possible odors; There have been no odors detected and research performed since the January 9 spill indicates the odor of MCHM is detectable at very low concentrations below the safe level recommended by the CDC; Additional staff brought in to analyze water samples collected from both raw water and treated water.
According to West Virginia American Water, additional test results should become available by Saturday, June 14.
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