Bullet Holes Apparently Cause Water Treatment Tank to Leak

Mar 21, 2017

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says a leaking water treatment tank in eastern Kanawha County isn't believed to have affected drinking water and no fish kill was observed.

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The agency says the initial investigation indicates the leak reported Monday was caused by two small-caliber bullet holes in the tank, believed to have occurred after Thursday evening.

The tank was holding a solution containing 20 percent sodium hydroxide to treat acid mine drainage. The leak allowed the material to enter treatment ponds uncontrolled, causing excessive pH.

Division of Mining and Reclamation inspectors found the tank is currently registered to a subsidiary of ERP Environmental Fund Inc. The Environmental Protection Department will issue notices of violation for inadequate secondary containment and exceeding effluent limits for pH.