West Virginia American Water

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A federal judge is delaying the trial involving a lawsuit filed against a water company and a manufacturer that sold a chemical to a company involved in a massive spill in Charleston.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver told attorneys during a monthly status hearing last week he would need more time to review and rule on several motions. The trial had been scheduled to start July 12.

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West Virginia American Water is asking state regulators to approve a 1.9 percent surcharge on customers' bills to fund infrastructure replacement projects.

The water utility said in a news release that it filed an application Friday with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia seeking approval for the rate hike.

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West Virginia American Water has informed the Charleston city Council and other local governments that it wants to place an extra surcharge on customer's monthly bills.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports West Virginia American Water President Jeffrey McIntyre sent a letter to government officials this month stating the company intends to file a case with the Public Service Commission allowing the utility to place a separate charge on customers to cover future infrastructure projects.

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West Virginia American Water Co. is asking a federal judge to delay a class-action lawsuit over a chemical spill that tainted tap water for 300,000 people in 2014.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that in a court filing on Thursday, attorneys for the water company asked U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. to postpone the trial for 60 days, from its current starting date of July 12 until Sept. 12.

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The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has granted West Virginia American Water Company a lower increase than it sought.

The commission said in a news release late Wednesday that it issued an order allowing a water rate increase of $18.17 million, or about 15.1 percent. The utility company had initially requested a rise of nearly twice that amount — $35.47 million.

Water Meter
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A study released last week by a national non-profit found that the utility rates of West Virginia American Water’s Charleston and Huntington Districts are tied as the 11th and 12th as the most expensive rates out of the 500 largest water systems in the country. West Virginia American Water contested the results of the study based on the methodology used. 

In light of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, this week on Inside Appalachia we remember the West Virginia water crisis from 2014. We’ll also hear from people in the coalfields who don’t have access to clean water, day in and day out. And we’ll honor the traditional “Appalachian” way of coming together to lean on each other.

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The Kanawha County Commission and city of Charleston have filed a lawsuit against several companies over the 2014 Elk River chemical spill.

Local news media report that the lawsuit against West Virginia American Water, Eastman Chemical Company and others was filed last week in the Kanawha County Circuit Court.

West Virginia American Water
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A new report released just days after the second anniversary of the Elk River Spill highlights shortcomings of the private water company that dealt with the spill. 300,000 people were told not to use their water for days following the accident.

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  West Virginia American Water is converting its meters statewide to an automated system.

The company announced the $17 million project Thursday as part of an effort to quickly locate water meters and read them accurately.

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The Kanawha County Commission and the city of Charleston have filed petitions to intervene in West Virginia American Water's rate case.

The state's largest water utility is seeking Public Service Commission approval for a 28 percent rate increase. The company attributes the proposed increase to previous system improvements and future planned projects.

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Charleston and Kanawha County officials are open to a public takeover of the region's drinking water system.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper and Charleston Mayor Danny Jones say they are very dissatisfied with West Virginia American Water Co.

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An advocacy group formed after the January 2014 Elk River Chemical spill will launch a campaign aimed to create a publicly-owned water system in the Kanawha Valley.

In a Thursday news release, Advocates for a Safe Water System says the organization will launch the “Our Water” campaign Tuesday at the University of Charleston.  The group seeks to have a public takeover of West Virginia American Water.

Huntington Ohio River
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West Virginia American Water says it has initiated a contingency plan for a temporary backup water supply to its Huntington water treatment plant in response to increasing algae blooms on the Ohio River.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission notified the utility last week that algae blooms had been detected on the river upstream of Huntington.

Ohio River near Huntington
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West Virginia American Water initiated a contingency plan today for a temporary backup water supply in Huntington. The need for a temporary backup water supply to the treatment plant is because of increased algal bloom activity on the Ohio River. West Virginia American Water was notified late last Friday by ORSANCO that algal blooms has been detected on the Ohio River upstream from Huntington. 

Since then West American Water has followed United States EPA recommendations, which include monitoring the water quality and enhancing treatment techniques. Results so far show no impact from the algal bloom in the Huntington water system. And the system continues to meet all drinking water standards. 

Two utilities are seeking a change in the way state regulators determine the rates that customers pay.

West Virginia American Water and Mountaineer Gas have asked the Public Service Commission to base rate calculations on a future year's projected spending and income.

West Virginia American Water

West Virginia American Water has completed repairs in Dunbar.

Repairs have been made to a 36-inch water transmission main in Dunbar following two leaks on a newly installed section of pipe. The system relay station in Dunbar has been restarted and normal pumping capacity has resume to areas west of Dunbar. All booster stations except one have been restarted and are beginning to re-pressurize.

West Virginia American Water

West Virginia American Water crews have once again responded to a leak in Dunbar.

Water crews are performing an emergency shutdown on a 36-inch water transmission main in Dunbar so that repairs can be made to a new leak that developed today. Crews are working to dig up the area and determine the new issue. It’s not yet been determined when the repairs might be finished.

West Virginia American Water

After repairing and returning a 36-inch water transmission main to service overnight, West Virginia American Water is resuming work to address a new leak that occurred around 6 Thursday morning at the same site where yesterday’s work was completed. Excavation crews immediately returned to the site and are currently working to re-excavate the main and determine the issue. Estimated time for repairs cannot yet be determined.

West Virginia American Water

  DUNBAR, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia American Water says it has repaired a transmission main break that disrupted service to about 25,000 customers.
     The company is asking affected customers to limit all non-essential water use while it restores service.
     The break occurred Tuesday evening on a 36-inche main in Dunbar. It left customers in parts of Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln and Putnam counties without water service or with low water pressure.
     A boil water advisory remains in effect. Water distribution sites have been set up for affected customers.
     West Virginia American Water said this morning that it doesn't know when service will be restored to all customers because it can't predict demand on the water system.
Water distribution sites are currently available at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Cross Lanes, Dunbar Plaza,West Virginia State University, Nitro High School, West Side VolunteerFire Department in Saint Albans, Eleanor Tech Center, Winfield Courthouse,Buffalo Fire Department, Poca Fire Department, Hurricane Fire Department,Bancroft Fire Department and Culloden Fire Department. Customers should bring their own containers to fill.