Monday, March 31, 2014

Please, nobody turn out the light at the end of the tunnel - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Please, nobody turn out the light at the end of the tunnel - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

They are flushing the system.  That means they are releasing the bad
water via fire hydrants and letting good water flow behind it.  It must
be working because my water no longer smells like licorice.  They will
be flushing the system in zones.  Apparently it is complicated because
of 1500 miles of pipelines and pressure and water tanks and pipes that
must flow up the side of the West Virginia mountains which are not
gently sloping hills - they are some steep suckers!  I still can't
believe when I was a kid I used to run all over them and not get tired.


will be 5 zones.  I am in zone 1 so I should have water tomorrow or
Tuesday at the latest.  Zone 1 is downtown Charleston and has 2 major
hospitals.  Zone 2 has the biggest hospital in the state.  Zone 3 has
another hospital.  Then they will do the rest of Charleston.  That will
take care of the majority of people right there.  I guess zone 5 is the
whole rest of the 9 county radius and will be done last.  Instructions
will come on flushing the lines in homes and water heaters and stuff
like that.

They will still distribute water until the all clear is
given.  They don't anticipate a change in the chemical weakening but
there is a chance of backwash in the system or something along those

I have to admit that after initial criticism of the water
company I think they have done an admirable job handling the problem. 
They did not release the chemical, they just responded to what was taken
into their system.  Blame for keeping it out of the system can wait but
once it was in there they did the only thing they could do.  When
discovered they tried to filter it with filters and with chemicals and
that didn't work.  They could not cut off the intake valve because then
there would have been NO WATER PERIOD.  We would not have had water to
flush toilets or to fight fires if necessary.  I don't think that the Do
Not Use order could have been issued much sooner than it was.

live as close as anyone to the actual plant.  I did not smell the
licorice smell until the next day so I don't believe it had made it to
my apartment by the time they issued the order not to drink it.  I drank
water all day long that day and trust me when I say the smell was very
noticible.  I don't think I would have drank it if I had smelled it but
who knows..hind sight is 20/20.

DEP had not inspected Freedom
Industries since 1991.  They are saying that since it was a holding
facility and nothing was manufactured there that no inspections were
required.  I confess looking at the plant while driving by and thinking
it was abandoned because it looked so bad.  I wondered about it being so
close to the water company but like everyone else I assumed that
"someone else was taking care of stuff like that."  Not that I had power
to get anything done anyway.

Here is a picture of the plant.  When you drive past other chemical companies in the area, everything is pristine and new.

second picture is a picture of the containment wall that was supposed
to hold back the chemical in case of a leak.  As you can see it is in
disrepair.  I have said that the plant was just bought by new owners but
here is what happened.  It was actually bought by the people who
already owned it.  They just merged 3 of their existing companies
together in a new partnership.  All the companies are in related

They were on the verge of going out of business in
2009 but the government used $400,000 dollars of stimulus money to
dredge the Elk River so they could stay in business.  There was so much
silt and mud build up in the river that barges could no longer get to
the facility to load.

The owners did file the proper paperwork
last February and they did divulge the chemicals stored at the
facility.  Neither the Water Company or any Government Officials did
anything to make sure that tests were conducted for leakage of the
chemical or had a plan in place for what to do if and when it did.  IF

They are still digging up the riverbank
which is composed of porous, coarse sand.  So the tank has probably been
leaking for a good long time.

Restaurants started opening today. 
They had to prove they had an alternate water source and I assume they
are all using paper plates and plastic utensils.  People are great about
helping each other and help is pouring in from all over the country.

It is the end of day 4 and maybe the beginning of the end.

oh yeah, I sneaked and took a shower today.  my skin has never glowed like this.

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