Ashton Marra Published

WVAM Using More Rigorous Water Testing Standard


A news release from West Virginia American Water Thursday said all points of testing throughout the water distribution system show levels of MCHM below 10 parts per billion.

Crude MCHM is the chemical that leaked from a Freedom Industries site on the Elk River contaminating the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians in 9 counties.

The 10 ppb threshold was established by a state interagency team based on the measuring capabilities of multiple laboratories used during the response to the Jan. 9 spill.

That level is 100 times lower than the 1 parts per million level deemed safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

West Virginian American Water President Jeff McIntyre said in the release the company has continued to test their water since the spill, and beginning Feb. 14, they have been working with labs to measure levels as low as 2 parts per billion to address the odor issues.

“We share our customer’s concern and anger over the impact the Freedom Industries spill has had on our
community,” McIntyre said. “We know that odor has added to their concern, regardless of levels, and we will continue to flush our distribution system to help address this issue.”

The company said test results at the treatment plant are below 2ppb and only 4 samples throughout the distribution system have shown results above that level.

McIntyre said the additional efforts are solely to address odor issues and are not related to any concern regarding the health thresholds set by the CDC.

Test results of both the raw water in the Elk River and the treated water coming from the Charleston treatment plant have been below the 1ppm level since Jan. 18, McIntyre said.

The release also said:

West Virginia American Water customers may have or will shortly see credits on their bill. These credits are marked in a line entitled Flushing Credit and will be reflected on bills received from mid-February to mid-March depending on when meters were read.