WV Utility Replaces Filters after Chemical Spill

Monday, June 16, 2014 @ 05:06 PM gHale


West Virginia American Water swapped out its filters and no longer detects chemicals that spilled into its Charleston, WV, water distribution system in January.

On January 9, more than 10,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) leaked into Charleston’s water supply from a Freedom Industries storage tank. The drinking water of more than 300,000 West Virginians ended up contaminated.

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The utility has only used new filters since May 23, when it removed the last of 16 filters tainted in the spill.

Results returned Thursday showed no chemical traces in water heading to people’s homes and businesses.

The chemical was in treated water in March. It was 2,000 times less concentrated than health officials deem safe to drink.

West Virginia American Water began replacing filters April 1 after finding chemicals were flowing off into the distribution system for 300,000 people.

The company estimates more than a $1 million cost to replace the filters.

The spill spurred a tap-water ban for up to 10 days.

Freedom Industries expects to begin the demolition this week of the site where the chemical MCHM leaked into the Elk River January 9 tainting the water supply for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians.

The chief restructuring officer for Freedom Industries said the company is still waiting for approval on two permits from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.



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