Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

No Toxic Levels Detected in River ; Treatments for Spill to End

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

No Toxic Levels Detected in River ; Treatments for Spill to End

Article excerpt

With no detectable level of a toxic coal-cleaning chemical discerned in Ohio River samples, Evansville's utility planned to end extra water treatment by early Tuesday morning. Tests throughout Monday were continuing to indicate concentrations of 4- methylcyclohexane methanol in intake water from the river were below 1 part per billion, below detection level, according to Allen Mounts, director of the Evansville Water & Sewer Utility.

The utility's lab technicians were expected to cut back hourly water sampling to every three hours after midnight and return to normal testing procedures by the end of Tuesday.

The utility began taking hourly samples at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday and began precautionary treatment at noon on Sunday of all intake water using activated carbon treatments

The chemical was not detected in any of those samples and there was no detection of it in Evansville's drinking water.

Notably, Mounts said, it was not detected at 10 a.m. Monday when concentration of the chemical was expected to be at its highest point near Evansville, based on its projected arrival times upriver.

"We have not been able to detect it with the detection equipment that we have and we have the same equipment as Louisville and Huntington (W. Va.)," he said.

The chemical originally was spilled by a West Virginia company into the Elk River and it then flowed into the Ohio River, reaching

Louisville on Friday morning. Officials there said the amount of the chemical present in the Ohio was so low it did not warrant a public health emergency.

Over the weekend, a technician of the Ohio River Water Sanitation Commission brought a sample of MCHM to the city treatment plant so employees could learn to recognize its peculiar odor.

"This is unique in that it has a very strong licorice-like odor," Mounts said.

He said the odor was not detected coming off the river or in samples from water intakes. …

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