West Virginia Water Utility Hit by Chemical Spill Spent $670k on Monitoring, Lab

January 8, 2015

After chemicals spilled into its supply last January, a water company has built a $400,000 laboratory at its Charleston plant and spent $270,000 for monitoring equipment at nine facilities.

West Virginia American Water also said contamination detection systems suggested in a new state law are unfeasible.

The comments came in a report to state lawmakers due Jan. 1.

The law aimed at protecting water supplies requires testing for various salts, ions, compounds, metals, pesticides and biotoxins. Or, the company can explain why it’s unfeasible.

The water company cites a March letter by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission saying its system only detects volatile organic chemicals.

West Virginia’s law requires matching that system. The utility says it has.

The spill spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days.

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