© 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WVPB News

DEP: Yellow Liquid On Elk River A Result of A Broken Sewer Line, Water Intake Restored

elkriveryellow.JPG

Updated on Friday, November, 14 at 4:38 p.m.

West Virginia American Water is returning service to its Kanawha Valley water treatment plant following a sewer line break Thursday on the Elk River above the plant intake. A yellow substance was reported shortly after noon and the company shut down the plant following notification from Metro 911. 

The company says they've consulted with the West Virginia West Virginia Bureau for Public Health about the decision to return service and they continue to work with the state Department of Environmental Protection and first responders. 

West Virginia American Water says the treatment process will be augmented with additional powdered activated carbon.

According to a news release, the company says plant operators have increased  the frequency of testing for: 

  •  total coliform (an indicator of bacteria),
  • pH, conductivity
  • and are continuously monitoring for free chlorine (disinfection).  

The company says they were notified that approximately three gallons of water-based road paint in the sewer system likely caused the yellow color at the site of the sewer line break. The Bureau for Public Health and water quality experts reviewed a MSDS sheet of the paint provided by the City of Charleston and determined it did not pose any threats.
Updated on Friday, November, 14 at 2:46 p.m.

West Virginia American Water spokeswoman Laura Jordan said the shut down their Elk River intake around noon after being notified about the situation.  She says company officials are working with the DEP, first responders and other agencies.

Ongoing testing at the treatment plant shows no change in water quality, according to West Virginia American Water.  

Original Post from Friday, November, 14 at 12:46 p.m.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said  that, after consultation with Charleston City officials, it was determined the yellow sheen came from a broken sewer line and the spill "has been contained."

She says West Virginia American  has been notified.

Metro 911 called the report in to the DEP spill line around noon today. A distpatcher there says West Virginia American Water has shut down their Elk River intake.

According to the Charleston Gazette, "the liquid, in a geyser a few feet tall, was on the west side of the river." 

The yellow liquid was first reported by Charleston Gazette reporter David Gutman, who tweeted this photo:

This is a developing story, please check back for the latest information as it comes in.


WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.