West Virginia American Water officials issued a press release on Monday, Jan. 27. Officials say that ongoing around-the-clock flushing, sampling and testing have produced non-detectable or extremely low levels of MCHM.
President of West Virginia American Water Jeff McIntyre says "In remaining areas where testing results are above the non-detectable limit, they are still extremely low and only a fraction of the CDC-established 1 ppm health-protective limit."
McIntyre added that the West Virginia American Water team expects that it will take a few more days of persistent flushing and testing before all sample points used throughout the system reflect non-detectable levels.
Analysis of PPH in historic water samples has been underway since this second chemical was disclosed by Freedom Industries on Jan. 21. More than 2,000 water samples have been collected by the interagency response team since the Jan. 9 chemical spill in the Elk River.
McIntyre says that scientists have worked since learning of the second chemical to determine the level of no detection for PPH and are testing down to the parts per billion levels.
Only one sample out of dozens taken has shown any trace of PPH, and this sample was taken on a date that all customers were already under the "Do Not Use" order.
Testing for both chemicals is conducted through what is called a gas chromatography mass spectrometry, which is very effective in identifying a broad range of chemicals.
West Virginia American Water says customers will receive a credit of 1,000 gallons to offset the water used for flushing their home plumbing as a result of the chemical leak. This equates to approximately 10 days of normal water usage for the average residential customer. The credit will be clearly marked on a future bill.