LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 20, 2014) — Louisville Water Co. is managing the trace amounts of the MCHM chemical in the Ohio River and there are no detections of MCHM in Louisville’s drinking water.
The “plume” of the MCHM chemical that spilled Jan. 9 into the Elk River in West Virginia passed through Louisville on Friday evening. Louisville Water scientists measured the concentration at trace amounts in the Ohio River — just 3.5 parts per billion at the highest point Friday evening. By Saturday morning, there were no detections of the chemical in the Ohio River.
At its Crescent Hill Filtration Plant, Louisville Water is removing the parts per billion amounts using carbon at the Crescent Hill Reservoir. There is no MCHM in Louisville’s drinking water produced at the plant.
Louisville Water had prepared its strategy in dealing with this taste and odor issue by working closely with the Ohio River Valley Water and Sanitation Commission and the Cincinnati Greater Water Works. Throughout the week, scientists had sampled river water up river and developed a treatment strategy using carbon at the Crescent Hill Filtration Plant.
Louisville Water does not consider this incident as a public health concern for Louisville since its treatment strategy at the Crescent Hill Plant can effectively handle the trace amounts and the Riverbank Filtration project at the B.E. Payne Plant removes the chemical through natural filtration in the ground. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that levels of MCHM below 50 parts per billion did not pose a public health concern.
Louisville Water continued monitoring the water for MCHM and applying carbon treatment at the Crescent Hill Reservoir through the weekend.