Randy Yohe Published

Paden City Water Works “Do Not Consume” Order Lifted

A picture of a man distributing bottles of drinking water
Volunteers distribute bottled water to residents in Paden City
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health has lifted the “do not consume” notice for customers of Paden City Water Works. The notice was issued on August 16, based on three consecutive samples that showed negative detectable levels of tetrachloroethylene (also known as PCE) in the local water supply. 

DHHR said in a release that even if PCE levels are below the maximum contaminant level, local customers will receive additional instructions from Paden City Water Works to flush their lines​ prior to using or consuming the water to remove residual PCE. Those with specific health concerns are advised to consult with a primary care physician or use an alternate source of drinking water.

Paden City Water Works will continue to flush as needed while also collecting weekly samples until the Bureau for Public Health is confident that levels of PCE remain below the MCL. 

The elevated PCE was a result of a June mechanical by-pass valve failure which has been corrected. Paden City Mayor Steve Kastigar noted in releases that a June storm prompted a transformer failure at the water plant. He said the air stripper went down because of the transformer failure. As a result, Paden City was running out of water without any ability to fight fires, so the bypass valve was opened, causing the chemical leak.

An administrative order from the Bureau for Public Health was issued to Paden City on August 19 to clarify actions necessary to address the public health issues related to PCE. The order was amended to include additional items to ensure that the treatment was functioning effectively on August 26.

“DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health was pleased to support Paden City and its residents through this issue in coordination with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the West Virginia Division of Emergency Management, and county and city officials,” said Interim DHHR Secretary Dr. Sherri Young. “The health of residents in Paden City has been a priority for the entire Justice Administration, and we are pleased that the do not consume notice could be lifted.”

Several rounds of sampling were conducted by Paden City and EPA. DHHR coordinated the delivery of testing supplies to Paden City on August 24, for additional water sampling. State resources were also made available to help provide alternative sources of drinking water and support distribution needs.

Paden city has a history of water plant problems with PCE contamination

To stay updated, customers can reach out to Paden City Hall at 304-337-8581 to sign up for the local Code Red notification system.​