Stormwatch

Rain contributed to Friday's chemical spill at Freedom Industries

Local - 6/14/2014 9:11 PM by Karen Franklin
CHARLESTON - Heavy rains contributed to Friday's chemical spill at Freedom Industries when a ditch filled with MCHM-contaminated rainwater overflowed. 

Some of the water reached the Elk River, but not enough to be detected at the nearby West Virginia American Water Company treatment plant.

The Department of Environmental Protection cited Freedom for the discharge and not properly operating the pump. While MCHM levels in the ditch were 20 times the safe drinking level, the chemical was not detectable at intake or in treated water at the plant. 

Crude MCHM knocked out water supplies in parts of West Virginia for up to 10 days in January. 

The DEP said it's not sure how much contaminated water reached the river, but it's certainly nothing on the scale of the 10,000 gallon pure MCHM in the January spill.

"Basically the numbers that mater, the tests that mater, are the ones that came back as non-detect in the river at the intake for West Virginia American Water and the non-detects for the treated water coming out of West Virginia American Water," DEP officials Kelley Gillenwater told WOAY. "

The water company said they will closely monitor the situation, but early tests indicate no additional detectable MCHM got in the water system serving 100,00 customers.

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