LOU. WATER CO: Water is safe to drink after WV chemical spill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LOU. WATER CO: Water is safe to drink after WV chemical spill

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The plume from the West Virginia chemical spill is now in the Ohio River in Louisville.

The Louisville Water Company conducts 200 water quality tests a day. Those include getting samples from the Ohio River and at its other plants.

"It can take up to two days to make drinking water," said company spokeswoman Kelley Dearing Smith. "So the water that we're bringing in to the Louisville Water Company today most likely will not go out to customers taps until probably Sunday."

On Friday, Mark Campbell, a Louisville Water Company scientist, showed us several recent water samples.  "This is a sample of water that has no odor. So that kind of gives us a reference for water that does not have an odor. Next, we'd move along each sample for odor."

Campbell and other scientists were conducting "jar tests" at the Crescent Hill filtration plant. They're taking the Ohio River Water with the added MCHM chemical, the one from the West Virginia spill, and figuring out how much carbon needs to be added so the scent is no longer detectable.

Campbell says, "In this case, MCHM has a sweet licorice, minty type of odor."

As the plume has moved down the Ohio River from West Virginia into Louisville, the levels of the chemical have continued to become more diluted. Scientists here says it hasn't reached its peak yet, and predict that the chemical will move out of the area by Saturday morning.

"We are talking about levels that are below 10 parts per billion," Dearing Smith. "I want to stress, that and when the water leaves the treatment plant, it will be at a non-detectable level."

Kroger says there has been a spike in bottled waver sales and Louisville area stores ordered extra supplies of 24-pack bottles for Friday and Saturday.

Kroger officials did say that some stores were running out of 1-gallon water, but most of its products were sent to West Virginia to support the crisis there.

Dearing Smith says Louisville residents do not need to buy bottled water.

"The Louisville Water Company does not believe there is any reason for you to go out and buy bottled water. The water is safe to drink. Every day we have to make sure we exceed EPA standards and that's what we're doing."

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