WV Water Emergency Continued Until Parts Per Billion; Louisville Debates

Updated 4 years ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
WV Water Emergency Continued Until Parts Per Billion; Louisville Debates
Adjutant General James A. Hoyer this evening issued the following statement.

"We have been sampling at the plant at both the parts per million (ppm) and parts per billion (ppb) levels throughout this process to ensure the highest level of confidence in the system. When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provided us with the 1 ppm public health standard we focused on testing at the parts per million level.

"In light of the CDC's additional guidance last night related to the abundance of caution for pregnant women and to ensure the highest level of public health we will continue to test the plant output at parts per million. Once the system is fully restored, we will test the system at the parts per billion level to ensure non-detectable levels in the water distribution system."

WV American Water posted the following release on its Facebook page late Thursday, Jan. 16:

West Virginia American Water is not certain of the ability to lift additional customer areas from the “Do Not Use” order tonight. This is due to excessive flushing activities that have diminished water storage needed to move forward with the recovery efforts, said President Jeff McIntyre.

McIntyre stresses the importance of customers following the “How to Flush Your Plumbing System” guide, not flushing beyond the necessary 25 minutes, and refraining from flushing until their area is lifted.

As a result of peak demand in the locations where the Do Not Use order has been lifted, the available water storage in the system has reached levels that may cause low pressure, outages and reduce the amount of water available for fire protection. In some areas, pressure has dropped to the point that boil water advisories have been issued for specific areas. It also has delayed the time when additional areas can be released from the Do Not Use order. Plant operators will continue to assess tank levels and water pressure overnight before releasing any additional areas.

McIntyre urges customers for their cooperation and patience as West Virginia American Water, the Army National Guard and our interagency partners continue to work tirelessly to restore service to all Kanawha Valley customers.

And , the controversy over shutting down in take and filtering the spill on the Ohio River remains a lively debate in Louisville, Ky.

Reporter James Bruggers noted that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers "noticed its licorice odor" at the Greenup Locks and Dam , and according to the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection, "as a precaution (the Corps.) "shut down" water utility intakes in Ashland and Russell. Carbon was added to further treat the water, the Courier Journal reporter wrote.

The plume passes Louisville this morning (Friday, Jan. 17) and debate has ensured on whether to shut down the intakes. Louisville Water Co. has a $50 million riverbank filtration system at its Payne treatment plant in Prospect. This system along with sand and gravel "should remove any remaining concentrations," Bruggers wrote quoting Rengao Song, a chemist and chief of water quality for Louisville Water.

The remaining 70% of Louisville water flows through the city's main Crescent Hill treatment facility, which plans to "add carbon to handle any remaining contamination," Song said. He added, though, "Even though there is no health issue, you can asked people to drink water with some sort of smell."

The smell, according to the article, will persist until the concentration drops to "a few parts per billion," which is about ONE DROP of 500 bourbon barrels.

But there is no water quality standard for MCHM. The one part per million standard was sat AFTER the spill.

Bottom line, Reporter Bruggers will drink Louisvile "with one caveat: I won't drink if it smells."

Unlike Cincinnati, which shut down, Louisville does not have a reservoir.

Next, the plume heads for Paducah , Ky. That's the site of the contaminated nuclear gaseous diffusion plant.

Dick Brown, speaking for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, said Wednesday's preliminary tests of the plume in the Cincinnati area were "between four parts per billion and 18 parts per billion."

But, the spill is a new wake up call, too. Press coverage has constantly cited MCHM's use in the coal industry. Guess what? It's used by the fracking industry too. A plan exists for shipping contaminated fracking waters by barge down the Ohio River. What happens if one or more of those barges, leak?

For the full article: http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20140116/OPINION04/301160027/1016...

For Fracking issues: http://www.theoec.org/press-releases/oec-releases-shale-gas-resource-guide

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