The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health today approved a request to lift the "do not consume" notice for customers of Paden City Water Works. The notice was issued on August 16, 2023, as recommended by DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health based on three consecutive samples tested by a certified lab that showed negative detectable levels of tetrachloroethylene (also known as PCE) in the local water supply.
“DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health was pleased to support Paden City and its residents through this issue in coordination with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the West Virginia Division of Emergency Management, and county and city officials,” said Sherri A. Young, D.O., MBA, FAAFP, Interim DHHR Cabinet Secretary and Incoming Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health. “The health of residents in Paden City has been a priority for the entire Justice Administration, and we are pleased that the do not consume notice could be lifted.”
An administrative order from the Bureau for Public Health was issued to Paden City on August 19, 2023, to further clarify actions necessary to address the public health issues related to PCE. The administrative order was amended to include additional items to ensure that the treatment is functioning effectively on August 26, 2023.
Several rounds of sampling were conducted by Paden City and EPA. DHHR coordinated the delivery of testing supplies to Paden City on August 24, 2023, for additional water sampling. State resources were also made available to help provide alternative sources of drinking water and support distribution needs.
The elevated PCE was a result of a mechanical failure in a by-pass valve, which has been corrected. The system has been thoroughly flushed, and multiple samples have been collected at the plant and in the distribution system to verify the level of PCE is below the maximum contaminant level (MCL).
Although PCE levels are below the MCL, local customers will receive additional instructions from Paden City Water Works to flush their lines
prior to using or consuming the water to remove residual PCE. Those with specific health concerns are advised to consult with a primary care physician or use an alternate source of drinking water.
Paden City Water Works will continue to flush as needed while also collecting weekly samples until the Bureau for Public Health is confident that levels of PCE remain below the MCL. To stay updated, customers can reach out to Paden City Hall at 304-337-8581 to sign up for the local CodeRed notification system.