WV American Water: No timeline for chemical cleanup - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV American Water: No timeline for chemical cleanup

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West Virginia American Water Jeff McIntyre didn't have much good news or many answers when he addressed the media at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 10.

The company does not yet have a time frame as to when water will be usable.

McIntyre was in place to answer questions about the Jan. 9 chemical spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol from a Freedom Industries tank that left more than 100,000 customers in nine southern West Virginia counties without water.

He said he had not heard from Freedom Industries, so he was unaware if the leak has been contained.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in a Jan. 10 statement he dispatched the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to Freedom Industries Jan. 9, ordering it to halt further leaching of the chemical into the river.

McIntylre said his company found out about the leak through the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and customers who noticed a strange odor.

West Virginia American Water has increased certain chemicals in its treatment process to help with oxidation, McIntyre said, which should help clean the water.

He said WVAW was not informed until 4 p.m. Jan. 9 of the chemical, but the company was first given the wrong chemical information when it was first notified of the leak around noon.

McIntyre said the treatment plant became overwhelmed with the quantity of the chemical, and now water must be moved from the distribution center. He also said West Virginia American Water goes beyond its required regulations.

McIntyre said the company may be able to restore service to customers in "zones," but he didn't think the entire network would be able to be restored all at once.

Kanawha County President Kent Carper also addressed media, saying he's asking the questions the public is, which is when will water be restored, but the answer is that no one knows.

Carper said he thought the plant was the site of the former Pennzoil recycling plant, which has been in the community roughly 50 years.