Portions of Nine WV Counties Under Do Not Use Water Warning

Updated 8 years ago

A chemical spill into the Elk River near Charleston has resulted in a federal emergency declaration. President Obama signed the declaration Friday morning. WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin previously declared a state of emergency.

Tom Aluise, a spokesman for the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection, said the leak originated from a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston which is near the West Virginia American Water intake plant. Contamination spread from the intake pipelines to other areas.

The WV DEP said, "The  leaked product is 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, which is used in the froth flotation process of coal washing and preparation. The product initially leaked into a containment area,  then leaked from the containment area into the river."

West Virginia American Water  issued a DO NOT USE WATER NOTICE for all West Virginia American Water customers in Kanawha, Boone, Putnam, Lincoln, Logan, Clay, Roane and Jackson counties, as well as customers in Culloden in Cabell County.


Due to the nature of the contamination along the Elk River, as a precaution, customers should not use their water for any purpose. Bottled or alternative sources of water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, bathing, food preparation, baby formula and all other purposes until further notice. Water quality specialists continue to monitor water, and crews will conduct flushing throughout the distribution system. West Virginia American Water will inform you when it is determined that the water is once again safe to use.

Customers who are served by the City of Hurricane, St. Albans, Putnam PSD, Montgomery and Cedar Grove/East Bank are NOT affected.