Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

January 11, 2014

Ashland prepared for contaminant

ASHLAND — Ryan Eastwood, director of Engineering and Utilities in Ashland, said he does not expect the chemical spill putting the state of West Virginia into a national emergency to affect water services in Boyd County.

The spill of the chemical 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol into the Elk River prompted the West Virginia American Water Company to send out urgent warnings for 300,000 residents in nine counties to not use tap water in any capacity, be it to drink, shower, brush their teeth or any other uses.

The nine counties affected are Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane.

Should the contaminated water not be properly contained and reach the intake supply of Ashland Engineering and Utilities, Eastwood said they are prepared.

“If it makes it to our intake, we still have 12 to 18 hours probably worth of water supply to our plant. We should be able to let it go by, but we don’t anticipate any problems,” he said.

He further explained the water company has a reservoir of raw, untreated water from which they can draw upon during emergencies. If they had to tap into these resources, he said they would be able to supply water to customers until enough time has passed for the river to push the contaminated water downstream.

The Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission will be keeping a close eye on the progress of the chemical spill movement as it spreads down the Ohio River.

“We have a gas chromatograph installed by ORSANCO in the water plant that monitors the river water constantly for dozens and dozens of chemicals and metals. Any time there’s a potential spike, they scrutinize it,” Eastwood said.

Even if the chemical contaminants seep into the Ashland area, Eastwood said they have another option other than tapping into the emergency reservoir.

“If it’s floating on the surface of the water, we can draw from below it,” he said. “ORSANCO will give us more ideas of the level of risk whenever it gets closer, but we’re monitoring it. It probably won’t arrive here until later this evening or tomorrow at this time. We've still got plenty of time.”

CNN reported the chemical, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, is harmful if swallowed, according to Thomas Aluise, a spokesman for West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection. It is used to wash coal before it goes to market.

President Obama has declared a state of emergency for West Virginia, calling upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency  to aid in delivering bottled water to the affected region.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Flatwoods mayoral debate set for Tuesday

    A public debate among the candidates seeking to become the next mayor of Flatwoods will take place next week.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ashland couple indicted on grave violation charges

     A man and a woman from Ashland have been indicted for allegedly stealing brass flower vases from graves at Rose Hill Burial Park.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Shore clerk gives updates on city building bids, sewer project

    City officials may not have to wait much longer to move from their temporary offices on Main Street into a shiny, new building.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fate of stray animals in Carter County questioned

    Stray animals in Carter County may be disappearing because no one seems to know exactly where they are going.

    April 22, 2014

  • Recovery center finds home

    The mayor of Grayson said he isn’t concerned about the money a new recovery center will funnel into the city, although he is deeply appreciative of what the proposed facility may be able to offer “people who really need help” recovering from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

    April 22, 2014

  • Olive Hill man charged with shooting wife during dispute

    A Carter County man has been arrested for allegedly shooting his wife in the neck during a domestic dispute.
    Robert Tackett, 47, of Olive Hill, was lodged in the Carter County Detention Center on Monday, charged with attempted murder-domestic violence, Kentucky State Police at Ashland said.

    April 22, 2014

  • Two of three Greenup commission seats on ballot

    Two of three commission seats are up for grabs in Greenup County this fall, and both will involve primary contests to determine the ballot lineup in the November election.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0423attmurder_tackett.jpg Olive Hill man charged with attempted murder

    A Carter County man has been arrested for allegedly shooting his wife in the neck during a domestic dispute.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rotary updated on Alliance

    Ed Neely, president of the Ashland Rotary Club and chairman of the Ashland Alliance, addressed Rotarians in both capacities during the Monday meeting to give an update on the organization’s recent progress.

    April 21, 2014

  • Prater has been satisfying fans’ hunger for 40 years

    Debbie Prater has satisfied thousands of athletes’, parents’ and fans’ snacking desires for nearly 360 months.
    That’s just about 40 years of serving nachos, popcorn, chili dogs, water and soda from Lewis County’s football, basketball and baseball concession stands, and Prater is retiring after this year’s last pitch.

    April 21, 2014