Plume from West Virginia chemical spill expected to arrive Frida - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Plume from West Virginia chemical spill expected to arrive Friday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The chemical spill from West Virginia is now expected to arrive in Louisville Friday morning instead of Thursday night.

As the West Virginia chemical spill.. flows slowly down the Ohio River, the Louisville Water Company and state agencies are keeping a close eye.

The Louisville Water Company still believes there is no health threat from the spill.

Cincinnati which is about 140 river miles away is closing its intake valves. Louisville Water says it has never closed those in its history.

"We don't see this as a risk where we'd need to close our intakes," said Louisville Water Company spokeswoman Kelly Dearing Smith. "There are two reasons: one is right where we are standing with the river bank filtration project. The reason we put this project in is because it protects us from a spill in the river."

This Riverbank Filtration is considered a first-of-its-kind system in the world. It uses a tunnel and well system that naturally filters river water.

At the Crescent Hill Filtration Plant, a $90 million upgrade includes new filters where taste and odor issues are treated with carbon.

The water company says the licorice smell associated with the chemical spill should also be gone by the time it reaches your house.

Dearing Smith says, "Customers will not notice any difference in the quality of their water, nor will they notice any change in the taste or odor of their water."

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection is joining with other state agencies and groups to monitor and test the water.

Kentucky Emergency Management has been coordinating daily meetings and conference calls with responding agencies and will continue until any perceived threat passes.

The chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, known as MCHM, was released into the Elk River, which flows into the Kanawha River at Charleston, W.Va. The Kanawha River flows into the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, W.Va. An estimated 300,000 residents in West Virginia were unable to use the water supply for a number of days.

Dearing Smith says, "You cannot see it, the levels are minuscule, lower than five parts per billion. It is a very stable compound. Yes, it is a large plume; what that means is we might just have to handle it for a few days. It will not be something that'll be a few hours."

So far, Kroger says it hasn't seen a spike in bottled water sales. But to be proactive, the company says it has ordered extra bottled water to arrive this weekend at Louisville and Southern Indiana stores.

Tim McGurk, a Kroger Spokesman, says, "We have also ordered several extra truckloads of water to be delivered to our local distribution center so that we are ready to respond if necessary."

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