Testing Completed at WV American Water Plant

Updated 4 years ago From WV American Water Release
West Virginia American Water released new testing results  following sampling and testing that took place over the weekend. The results posted below confirm that MCHM levels in water leaving the Kanawha Valley water treatment plant are below 1 ppb. All new results are so low that they are considered estimates by the laboratory because they are too low to be quantified. Previous test results have consistently shown water leaving the plant to be below 2 ppb since this reporting level became available in mid-February.

“This new round of sampling and testing demonstrates the ability of laboratories to test and report at levels lower than previous rounds of testing.  The detected levels are 2,000 times lower than the CDC’s health-protective screening level,” said Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water. “It is not unexpected that MCHM effectively captured in the filter material may show up in trace amounts in water leaving the plant. As we committed to our customers, we will be changing out the nearly 500 tons of Granular Activated Carbon in our plant’s 16 filters as soon as operational conditions allow, which is scheduled to begin next week,” McIntyre stated.

On March 21 and 22, multiple samples were collected at various stages before, during and after the water treatment process, including raw water (Elk River), settled water (post-clarifiers), filtered water (post-filters) and finished water (completed all stages of treatment). Seven sets of samples were taken two hours apart at six different points, for a total of 42 samples. Water samples were delivered Saturday to Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories, Inc., which is one of two laboratories utilized in the WV TAP project.

The additional sampling was conducted following one home sample result of the WV TAP project indicating a level of MCHM between 0.5 ppb and 1 ppb. One part per billion is the equivalent of one drop in a large tanker truck or one second in 32 years. A press release issued this morning by WV TAP states that levels were less than both the interagency team’s non-detect level of 10 ppb and the CDC health-protective screening level of 1,000 ppb (1 ppm).

Since the Jan. 9 Freedom Industries spill, laboratories have developed methods to quantify MCHM in water at lower and lower levels. Maximum Detection Levels identified by Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories for these samples range from 0.38 ppb to 0.45 ppb, depending on the sample.
    SAMPLE LOCATIONS - All results reported in parts per billion (ppb)
    Raw East Settled West Settled East Filtered j West Filtered j Finished  j
3/21/2014 6:00 PM ND ND ND 0.60 0.44 0.52
3/21/2014 8:00 PM ND ND ND 0.55 0.53 0.49
3/21/2014 10:00 PM ND ND ND 0.60 0.43 0.53
3/22/2014 12:00 AM ND ND ND 0.56 0.41 0.46
3/22/2014 2:00 AM ND ND ND 0.57 ND 0.46
3/22/2014 4:00 AM ND ND ND 0.42 ND ND
3/22/2014 6:00 AM ND ND ND ND ND 0.45

Maximum Detection Level ranges from 0.38 ppb to 0.45 ppb, depending on the sample in this report.

ND is anything below the Maximum Detection Level (0.38 ppb to 0.45 ppb depending on the sample).

 j       The "J" qualifier is an industry identifier for reported values that fall between the Minimum Detection Limit (MDL) and the Limit of Quantitation (LOQ).  This indicates that the analyte is present but the actual concentration level should be considered an estimate.

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