More of the same from WV American Water

Last Saturday, West Virginia American Water held its second annual “WaterFest” at the Elk River treatment plant. To its credit, WV American Water offered tours of its facility, including the new chemical testing laboratory and water quality monitoring equipment that it installed after the water crisis, replacing similar equipment that it had taken out in 2004-5.

I’m no chemist, but chemists with Advocates for a Safe Water System who went on a tour of this new/old facility concluded that:

  • The monitoring equipment installed by the water company this year is not able to continuously monitor for diesel fuel, MCHM, sewage or toxic algae in Elk River intake water
  • The water company is not analyzing for microcystins (toxins produced by certain freshwater bacteria), even though these have caused Elk River drinking water problems as far back as 1930
  • The water company’s new lab is not certified or accredited by any third-party agency

West Virginia American Water is acting as though they are unaware that tons of MCHM remain in the soil at the former Freedom site, which has yet to be remediated. Once again, the water company is showing a stunning lack of planning or foresight.

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