In Case You Have Heard About The Water

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gillumhouse's picture
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The water situation in 9 counties of West Virginia has made National News. I want to let everyone know that is over 100 miles south of me. 

A chemical tank was found to have a small hole and leaking this chemical used in, from what I understand, processing coal. This morning I heard a WVU Biology Professor interviewed. He said the authorities are taking the proper actions even though by his calculations, the threat is small. He says the better safe than sorry method is prudent. The order is DO NOT USE except for flushing toilets and putting out fires.

The major problem is that this happened just upriver of the large water company that serves most of that area - over 100K customers - and it got into the distribution system. Until it gets out of the system. They are saying they do not know that the water is unsafe BUT they cannot say it IS safe and therefore it is DO NOT USE.

There is no current timeline for this to be lifted but lines are being flushed. Water buffaloes, tankers, and semis of bottled water are in transit or on-site already.

Arks's picture
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West Virginia is so beautiful, I KNOW tourism will eventually be their salvation! Great video on where they are, and where they may be going: http://vimeo.com/71032050

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birdwatcher's picture
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Its awful because so much of WV is so rural and many don't even have phones. I hope that they clean it up quickly, not to mention the damage to humans think about the wildlife-at hunting season to boot. WV is a very high state for hunting, I mean when the first day of hunting is a WV holiday and they close schools-that's saying something huh.

gillumhouse's picture
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Hunting season is not really a holiday - they close the scvhools because no one will show up anyway the teachers and the students are out deer hunting.

They say this is not a danger to wildlife or fish. The biologist this morning on the radio - expert from WVU - said with the amount thought to have entered the river with the water level and flow of the river (both high by the way), there is actually little danger HOWEVER he felt the authorities are handling it correctly because they cannot say for certain it is a danger, they also cannot say there IS no danger. It is the fact that it got into the distribution system of the water company that it became a huge problem. Otherwise it would have diluted itself with the volume of water and been treatable there. In the water lines, all they can do is flush the lines.

 

And yes, the lawsuits have begun.

Arks's picture
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I Google Mapped it and traced that river to make sure it didn't go through your area. Glad you were spared, and glad they can still flush their toilets.

gillumhouse's picture
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glad they can still flush their toilets.

Yes, there are not many "outbacks" to be found these days - especially in that area. Actually - the flushing might help get the water back to normal by clearing the liines.....

Generic's picture
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I assume by outbacks you mean... outhouses? There are places where people still don't have indoor plumbing? Seriously? In the winter?

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gillumhouse's picture
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Sugar Bear wrote:

I assume by outbacks you mean... outhouses? There are places where people still don't have indoor plumbing? Seriously? In the winter?

Of course. Not many, but some up in the hollers There are places where city water does not go. There are places cities cannot afford to provide water to - we have some that must sign low pressure acknowledgement before we will let them tie in because they are either at the end of the line or (mostly) they are at an elevation higher than our water tanks. The customer can help the situation by installing a booster pump but many would rather complain about their pressure.

I grew up with a 2-seater out back. At that time we did not have city water (the road now does have it) and the well my parents dug had mine surface water that cannot be used for anything. Since Daddy was a member of the Never-Roundtoit family, the cistern was not put in until we moved off the farm and it was put in for the renters. A lot of the hunting camps have the out back. Why pay a water bill when basically camping? One serves as the "comfort station" at the smallest church in the lower 48. I assure you, West Virginia is NOT the only State that still has out backs. We just admit it.

Generic's picture
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Wow. I think they are basically outlawed here except seasonal camps in the far far far north. And the regulations are interesting, you have to ensure that only three items enter the pit (toilet paper being the third) and there are even rules for when you have to close it and build another. Once you have water, you have to have a septic system, instead.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Having water is the key ingredient in the equation. Personally. I would prefer the put to the straight-pipes. They ARE illegal, that does not keep it from happening. I am just willing to be open about it - most people pretend it does not exist. It does and it exists everywhere. Anywhere there are people willing to "cut corners" and not spend money if they can avoid it. Cisterns and septic systems are not inexpensive items.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Good to know you're not affected!

gillumhouse's picture
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Kanawha, Putnam, Boone, Lincoln, Clay, Eastern Cabel, and I honestly cannot remember the others. It appears to ONLY be customers of West Virginia American Water Company. St Albans get its water from the Coal River so they are not affected even though they are Kanawha County.

The Municipal League Conference due to start Sunday is cancelled. Now I am waiting to find out about the Election Training class scheduled for Tuesday.

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I wondered what counties it was because the news never mentioned names or towns. Glad it isn't you.

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