"Do Not Use" Lift Process Begins
January 13, 2014 at 19:10 PM EST
An interagency team including the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, West Virginia American Water and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that extensive testing has produced results showing that levels of MCHM are below one part per million (1 ppm). The U.S. Center for Disease Controls (CDC) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do not anticipate any health effects from these levels and the Do Not Use has started to be lifted according to designated zones. The first zone, which includes the downtown Charleston and East End areas, has now been lifted.
The ban is being lifted in a strict, methodical manner to help ensure the water system is not overwhelmed by excessive demand, thereby causing more water quality and service issues. Zones have been established based on the flow of water from the treatment plant through the system.
West Virginia American Water, along with the interagency team, are communicating the lift zones through a variety of sources including an interactive webpage where customers can enter their home or business address and see their water service status. We strongly encourage all customers with access to the website to use this tool first. This map is accessible at www.westvirginiaamwater.com.Customers are encouraged to regularly visit the map for updates.
In addition to the website, lift zone information is being provided to all media. To supplement the web-based map, automated phone calls using our company customer database will be launched in coordination with lifted zones.
A temporary local 24/7 hotline has been established at 855-390-4569 for additional clarification. The hotline is for the exclusive purpose of helping customers in border areas gain clarification or for those who do not have internet access. Representatives will not be able to provide any information beyond clarification on lift locations. All other questions should be directed to our Customer Service Center at 1-800-685-8660.
Customers in lifted zones will need to flush their home plumbing systems. West Virginia American Water is providing flushing guidance via its website, media, and call center. Only customers located within the zones that have been lifted should begin flushing. Please do not begin flushing until your zone is lifted. West Virginia American Water will be offering customers a credit of 1000 gallons, which is more than will what likely be required to flush the average residential home. The average residential customer uses approximately 3,300 gallons per month.
West Virginia American Water thanks all its customers for their patience and cooperation during this event. The company continues to work with the state to provide both bulk and bottled water to impacted residents.
We remind customers that until their zone is announced, water should not be used for any purpose other than toilet flushing or firefighting. Alternative sources of water should be used for all purposes. Bottled water or water from another, safe source should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, bathing, food and baby formula preparation and all other purposes until further notice.
West Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 550,000 people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.westvirginiaamwater.com.