Elk River chemical spill
1:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

More Kanawha County Schools Tested for MCHM

Schools in Kanawha County W.Va. continue to smell faint chemical odors.
Schools in Kanawha County W.Va. continue to smell faint chemical odors.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

A Message from Kanawha County Superintendent, Ron Duerring

Update on Water Testing at Malden Elementary

The Rapid Response Team is working with Malden Elementary School to re-flush and retest the water following a slight MCHM detection in one of the school’s water fountains.

The team was called to the school on Monday, Feb. 10 to conduct tests. All other water samples from the school came back at a non-detect level. 

Non-detect means that there are no traces of MCHM at neither the 1 part per million screening level recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for protecting public health nor the 10 parts per billion screen level directed by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Results on a single water fountain at Malden Elementary returned at .013 ppm and .018 ppm at two separate labs. Each reading more than meets the CDC screening guidelines.

Malden Elementary will be re-flushed after school and further testing will occur. All results will be made public once they are confirmed. Students at Malden Elementary will continue to be provided bottled water and hand sanitizer. 

A second water fountain in a different section of the school sampled on Monday resulted in non-detect readings from two different labs. In addition, Malden Elementary was tested two times in previous weeks, but at different locations, and those were reported at the non-detect level.

The Rapid Response Team, which is made up of individuals from the West Virginia National Guard, the Kanawha Charleston Health Department, the West Virginia DEP’s Division of Air Quality, the Kanawha County Emergency Operations Center and the local school system, has been working with area schools to conduct inspections and additional testing.

The safety of students continues to be a priority. Kanawha County Schools have followed all flushing protocols and in many cases have gone beyond requirements in an effort to ensure student safety. The county also continues to provide bottled water, cook with bottled water and make available hand sanitizer. 

Meanwhile, the Rapid Response Team also tested water at Riverside High School and Bridgeview Elementary on Monday, Feb. 10. Those results returned as non-detect.

All results will be posted on the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management website: http://www.dhsem.wv.gov/Pages/WV-American-Water-Emergency.aspx