CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia American Water reached a milestone Friday: all 100,000 customers impacted by last week's chemical leak have been lifted from the "do not use" water advisory. The last area, Clendenin, was lifted from the order at 12:30 p.m. Friday.
The announcement came four days after the first zone, Charleston's East End, was lifted from the advisory during a noon press conference at the Capitol Monday.
Water was restored to about 3,000 customers were lifted from the "do not use" order Friday morning, including customers in Elkview, Eskdale, Leewood, Ohley, Coal Fork, Midway and Pointlick, according to West Virginia American Water press releases. Those restorations brought the total number of customers with water deemed safe by officials to 74,000.
No new lifts from the "do not use" advisory happened overnight Thursday, though -- a possibility West Virginia American Water president Jeff McIntyre alluded to in a press release yesterday. He cited excessive flushing activity was diminishing water storage in the system needed to conduct tests. He warned the overuse of water was causing low water pressure and outages, which could impede firefighting efforts in the event of a fire. He also said boil water advisories were being issues in some localities due to a lack of water pressure, and the progress toward giving additional areas the green light to use water is being delayed.
Progress went backward in areas of Putnam County on Friday morning after one of two tests from a dead-end water main in Buffalo indicated levels of MCHM above one part per million, the threshold set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as safe for ingestion by humans. A "do not drink / limited contact" advisory was issued for Buffalo, Frazier's Bottom and Pliny in response to the test, which was done while investigating a customer complaint.
Customers in those areas are advised not to drink their water until further notice, and to have limited contact with their water. Crews are conducting additional flushing and sampling in the area "to exercise the utmost caution."
Boil-water advisories remain in effect for some streets in Sissonville; about 300 customers in Cross Lanes and Nitro; and about 500 residential customers in Riverside, Paint Creek and Pratt. A boil-water advisory has been lifted for customers in the Rockcrest Drive and Chestnut Street areas of South Charleston.Visit West Virginia American Water's website at westvirginiaamwater.com or call their temporary hotline at 855-390-4569 for the most up-to-date information on areas lifted from the "do not use" order.
Contact writer Marcus Constantino at 304-348-1796 or marcu...@dailymailwv.com. Follow him on Twitter at @amtino.