UPDATE: West Virginia American Water filter change now halfway c - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: West Virginia American Water filter change now halfway complete

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Worker pumping out old carbon from filter Worker pumping out old carbon from filter
The activated carbon filter change out project at West Virginia American Water (WVAW) in Charleston, WV is now halfway complete.aura Jordan, spokesperson for WVAW says test results received yesterday allow operators at the treatment plant to put two more newly changed filters back into service.  

WVAW began changing out the filters back in April.

Eight filters have now been returned to service. Jordan says water samples taken from all filters changed out up to this point show no detection of Crude MCHM at the lowest available laboratory detection level. Prior to being put back into service, all filters are conditioned, monitored and tested to meet drinking water standards.

Jordan says at this time water samples continue to be taken every four hours and tested for MCHM.  All samples have been non-detect at two ppb since late February. 
The carbon filter change process continues at West Virginia American Water in Charleston, WV. According to Laura Jordan, spokesperson for West Virginia American Water, the plant has now changed out six filters and is currently working on changing out the seventh filter.The six changed-out filters were sent to a lab in Lancaster, PA for testing.

Jordan says all six filters came back with non-detect levels of Crude MCHM at 0.38 parts per billion.West Virginia American Water began changing out nearly 500 tons of Granular Activated Carbon in the plant's 16 filters on April 1.

The project is expected to take eight to nine weeks. Jordan tells us by next week the company will be half way through changing out its 16 carbon filters.
A labor-intensive process was underway Monday morning at WV American Water's Kanawha Valley water treatment plant. Workers could be see draining, vacuuming, and pumping away old granular activated carbon inside their water filters. "This week we will be changing out the first two. Our plan is to be taking two out each week back to back," said Jordan. WV American water officials said they were upholding a promise they made back in January after the Freedom Industries spill contaminated the Elk River.

Officials stated they would change the carbon in its 16 filters as soon as conditions were permissible. "The reason we didn't take these out of service before this time is because we needed all 16 filters to keep with customer demand," said Jordan. But many customers said they still believed the process should have started weeks ago.

Just last week, water company confirmed there were trace levels of MCHM found lingering in the filters. "I could have lived with [not having water a few days], and I'm sure the community could have come up with other solution, because obviously we didn't use the water anyway," said Paula Bickham, a South Charleston resident. Officials say it will take about 8 weeks to replace nearly 60,000 pounds of activated carbon per filter. The plan is to change two filters each week. "Later this week, they will be replacing the old carbon with virgin carbon and putting these filters back into service after they are disinfected and tested," said Jordan.

Some customers said they were comforted to hear that action was finally being taken. "I haven't used any tap water since the spill so I'm looking forward to the time that I can turn it back and have some trust in the tap water system," said Robin Hager, a Charleston resident.Water officials said they typically change four filters every year. Changing all of them at once will cost $1.1 million.