Despite PCE non-detection, Paden City water crisis not over yet

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PADEN CITY, W.Va. (WTRF) – PCE is still in the groundwater in Paden City, first detected in 2010.

Currently, it is not detected in water going into homes.

Residents are worried about dangerous breakdown chemicals and vapor intrusion, all which can further affect their health on top of what PCE may have already done.

Right now, the EPA is drilling wells to uncover its sources. Therefore, a high-detection plume is essentially below schools, homes, and businesses which may lead to vapor intrusion. They found one dry cleaner that closed decades ago, BandBox Cleaners, to be one source.

As far as the drinking being palatable, it’s fine now, so until we get the core samples back from the EPA they’ll send us a big report and we’ll take it from there.

Mayor Marc Casteel, Paden City

An air stripper had been installed earlier this year, which removes PCE.

The Crisis Group is worried that it may not be efficient and have been in talks with Erin Brockovich’s team on a Granular Activated Carbon system. But, both methods have their plus and minuses.

There’s no detect in this water at this time now things will change and it always changes, but currently right now I would say within the next 20 years we’ll know the exact full effect of what is going on. It’s a travesty that it happened, but it’s a part of life when you have industry. It’s not going to be an overnight fix. The government works slow. Funding is an issue and it’s going to take a lot of research and development coming up with an idea how to fix the problem we have right now.

Josh Billiter, Paden City Public Works Director

A USDA loan of $5.1 million is being used towards the city. Construction on new water lines, tanks, and hydrants is just a few months away. The city will see a major water increase.

The Water Crisis Group is conducting a community health survey on long-term exposure to PCE, with backing from WVU.

They hope the results will bring stricter regulations and wonder if it is not the PCE causing all of this harm then what is?

We’ve done around 300 surveys and it’s eye opening and jaw-dropping to see the results that we are getting. There are tons of very rare neurological diseases. Why isn’t the CDC down here investigating? I’ve made them aware now. I will say we are being looked at to be a Superfund site and be put on a National Priorities List, so we can’t say that there are no problems here because that’s very serious that’s a list nobody wants their town to be on.

Tonya Shuler, Paden City Water Crisis Group

Vapor testing is supposed to happen in November.

This is all still under investigation by the EPA and an initial report from them is expected to come out in November, according to the Mayor.

They say the EPA has been very helpful in keeping them informed and are in constant communication.

This is an ongoing story and we will provide you with the very latest going forward.

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