CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For the past week, customers of West Virginia American Water affected by the do-not-use order have flooded the handful of unaffected communities in Kanawha County to try to access clean drinking water.
To date, those systems have been able to handle the influx.
In St. Albans, Mayor Dick Callaway said residents from other communities have poured into his city in search of water.
In response, the city ramped up production at its water treatment plant, which ran at full capacity until Thursday, when it returned to a normal production level.
"We only produce water about 10 hours per day," Callaway said of normal production. "We've been operating longer production days to make sure the tanks are topped off."
Normally, the St. Albans water treatment plant processes about 1.3 million gallons of water from the Coal River each day. With adjustments, the plant can process 4.2 million gallons of water at full capacity.
In addition, the city has tanks that can store 2.5 million gallons of water, Callaway said.
Callaway said the St. Albans system handled the extra demand without much incident. He said he doesn't know how consumption levels from the past week compare to average levels, but the city will analyze those numbers.
"We haven't had too many ask for great quantities of water," he said.
Several restaurants and government installations served as "bring your own container" water distribution points. Restaurants in St. Albans were also packed, because others in areas affected by the ban were closed.
St. Albans also operates its own sewage treatment plant. But because much of the extra water demand was taken out of the city, there hasn't been a major spike in sewage, though Callaway said he believes the plant could have handled the extra demand.
The sewage treatment plant in St. Albans also receives sewage from a number of customers outside the city who receive West Virginia American Water Co. water and not St. Albans city water.