West Virginia American Water Reflects on Year Following Freedom Industries Spill
January 09, 2015 at 09:26 AM EST
One year after the Freedom Industries chemical spill that impacted the regional water system in the Kanawha Valley, West Virginia American Water officials believe that water systems across West Virginia are better protected due to the heightened community awareness to protect drinking water sources and the environmental protections added by the West Virginia Legislature’s passage of the Aboveground Storage Tank Act. West Virginia American Water customers can have further confidence in their water system as a result of the enhancements the company has undertaken to make the water system more resilient, including the most technologically advanced laboratory of any water treatment plant in the state and the addition of source water monitoring equipment in early 2015.
“The health and safety of our customers and employees has always been and will continue to be our number one priority,” said Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water. “Although we did not cause this issue, we have committed substantial resources to address customers’ concerns and enhance their confidence in the water supply.”
McIntyre said that following the spill, his team – along with interagency partners – worked around-the-clock to return the community’s drinking water to its longstanding high quality and conducted rigorous testing to ensure that no traces of the chemical existed in the water system and to reestablish confidence in the water supply.
“Once we achieved full restoration of our water to its original exceptional quality, we began taking careful, thorough and deliberate steps to evaluate measures to further enhance the resiliency of our systems, including in the areas of source water protection planning, alternate water sources, early warning monitoring systems and enhancements to our emergency customer notification system,” McIntyre said.
The company recently provided an update on these projects through an informational piece mailed to all area customers in late December, which can be found online at www.westvirginiaamwater.com/about-us/news.html.
Highlights of this progress update include:
“Restoring full water service following the Freedom Industries spill was not just our job. It was our promise to our neighbors and our families in the communities we serve. After all, this community is our home too,” McIntyre said. “Today, our customers can be confident that their water is truly the great quality they’ve come to expect from West Virginia American Water.”
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 6,600 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.