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Water/Waste Processing e-News / Drinking Water

West Virginia water ban gradually lifted

January 17, 2014
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Although the water ban has been lifted in some parts of West Virginia, life for many of the 300,000 people that have been affected by the chemical spill into the Elk River is still not back to normal. There is no news of when they will be allowed to use the tap water and officials say it could take days.

Restaurants and businesses have been reopening in some parts of the Charleston metropolitan area, as health officials stated that the water was safe for washing, bathing and drinking, provided that the systems were flushed. The ban has been lifted for more than a third of the affected customers of West Virginia American Water. However, many people are still wary of using the water, believing that it may still be contaminated, according to media reports.

RELATED: Chemical spill contaminates drinking water in nine West Virginia counties

Meanwhile, state and federal officials are investigating the incident in which a chemical was discharged in the waters of the Elk River, leading to the water ban. It was announced that the chemical that leaked from a 40,000-gallon tank at a chemical storage facility was 4-methylcyclohexane methanol. State officials said that about 7,500 gallons of the chemical had spilled into the river but there is no information about how much of that entered the water supply system. Continuous sampling of the water shows that the chemical is below the level that could cause health risks, the Associated Press reported.

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