Saturday evening press conference brings better news on chemical - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Saturday evening press conference brings better news on chemical spill

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CHARLESTON (WVVA) -- A press conference brings new details about a chemical spill into the Elk River, making the water unusable for hundreds of thousands of West Virginia American Water customers.

Samples of the water are being tested, and they have been getting clearer, according to officials with DEP, the National Guard and the West Virginia government.

There needs to be below one part per million of the chemical MCHM for the water to be considered usable.

Low samples have been attained -- 0.75, 0.62, 1.2 -- but the samples need to stay below one part per million for a full 24 hours.

The source has been cut off, but the material is still in the soil.  Even though you cannot smell the problem does not mean the water is not dangerous.

There is still no time table on when the water will be fixed, but American Water customers will be given instructions how to flush their systems when that time comes.

In the meantime, businesses can start to reopen.  They need to offer a plan to DHHR on how they will offer portable water.  DHHR will review the plans, and allow establishments to reopen if the plan is feasible.  

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