Wyo. County water company fails to perform required reporting - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Wyo. County water company responds to concerns after letter sent out to customers

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UPDATE: (WVVA) Pineville Municipal Water offered new insight Monday into a letter sent to their customers last week. The notice, as required by the Clean Water Act, said the company's reporting requirements were not met several times in 2017. 

What does this mean in terms of the safety of the water?

According to Corbet Justus with Pineville Municipal Water,  the reports were submmited to the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Affairs but never received. He attributes the missed deadline to a mail mix-up and said other Southern West Virginia municipalities have had similar problems. 

The water operator also said the company has since started to send the reports via certified mail to ensure their delivery. 

Since WVVA News first aired the story about the company's missed reporting deadlines, more customers have come forward with similar letters dated December 15, 2017 and September 19, 2017. The company missed the reporting deadline in each of the letters. 

WVVA News followed up with the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), which oversees the Dept. of Environmental Affairs, to ask whether the testing was completed and to confirm whether the missed deadline was in fact a mix-up. The DHHR issued the following response in response to the request:

"Reporting is required to be completed within certain time periods as well as submitted to the West Virginia DHHR, Bureau for Public Health (BPH) within certain time periods. The sample results were not received by the BPH by the required date. When this happens, there is a reporting violation issued and depending on what is being tested, there can be a requirement to do a Public Notice. That is what happened in this instance. The sample results were not received within the required time period." 
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PINEVILLE, W.Va. (WVVA) A Wyoming County water company is forced to notify customers it did not perform necessary water testing in 2017 to ensure their safety.

In a letter dated June 14, 2018, the Pineville Municpal Water company told customers "our water system violated  drinking water monitoring requirements within the last year(s). Even though these were not emergencies, you, as our customers, have the right to know what happened and what we did to correct the situation."
 
The letter said "we are required to monitor your water on a regular basis. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not our drinking water meets health standards. During periods listed in the table below, we did not monitor or test as required and therefore cannot be sure of the water quality during that time. Also, test results show that our system exceeded the standard or maximum containment level of MCL for total Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids."

What does this mean?

The letter said "this is not an immediate risk. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. However, some people who drink water containing Total Trihalomethenes (TTHM) and/or Haloacetic Acids in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of cancer." 

The reporting violations occurred between January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. 

In the comments section, the company answered questions as to what happened and what is being done with the following response: 

"We failed to submit, complete, or monitor for the above required reporting on time. We have since taken care of the required reporting and are sending our customers this letter for compliance." 

The last testing and reporting data available from the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) website is from 2016. During that time, the Pineville Municipal Water was cited for 28 violations ranging from positive tests above the recommended limit for Haloacetic Acids to Chlorine to Coliform. The system was supplying water to nearly 3,000 customers during that time. 

To see the system's compliance data, visit http://www.wvdhhr.org/oehs/eed/c%26e/reports.asp

The company's address is listed as Post Office Box 220, Pineville, WV, 24874.

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