UPDATE (10:11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15): West Virginia American Water says that they have switched to the alternate water intake on the Guyandotte River.
The company says that the alternate intake is now currently supplying the majority of the water to the Huntington Water Treatment Plant, and they are working on increasing water flow from the temporary intake to supply all of the source water to the treatment plant.
They say that this is a precautionary measure following a chemical release into the Ohio River due to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – After the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio spilled chemicals into the Ohio river, West Virginia American Water has been working on a solution to finding a separate water source for the 39,000 Cabell and Wayne Counties customers if the river water were to become contaminated.
Crews have been working on completing a second intake for the nearby Guyandotte River since the weekend. The purpose of this move is to switch the source of water from the Ohio River to the Guyandotte River when needed.
Tuesday, it was finally completed, tested, and works as expected. However, West Virginia American Water officials say there are no issues yet but their team continues to test these waters for possible contamination.
“We are currently testing water quality every hour. Ur water is still continuing to be safe clean and reliable for our customers,” Megan Hannah, WV American Water Senior Manager of Government and External Affairs says Tuesday evening.
Hannah goes on to say that this is a daily routine and they want to clarify that other water systems are not on their radar as being affected at this time. “Only West Virginia American Water’s Huntington system is of concern for us at this time.”
Over on the other side of the river, the city of Ironton, Ohio said that the treatment process at the city’s filtration plant is designed to remove any contaminants that might result from the spill. Officials say they will actually stop production during the time frame that the spill contaminants are passing through the area.
There are still no drinking water advisories in our region related to the spill at this time.