Streamline - Spring 2014 - (Page 11)

The Importance of an Immediate Response BY KENNY REYNOLDS, VRWA WATER CIRCUIT RIDER I Just how important are the activities we perform as water and wastewater system operations specialists? We can never rule out the importance of any of the duties or process testing we perform at our facilities, or in our distribution systems. 2014, a chemical spill occurred in Charleston, W. Va., at Freedom Industries, a chemical factory on the Elk River upstream from the West Virginia American Water treatment facility. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency and residents in eight West Virginia counties were told not to use their water due to this chemical leak. This ban on water use has not only affected the 300,000 residents in these areas, but also hospitals, skilled care facilities, schools, child care facilities, restaurants, hotels and other businesses. This chemical spill caused the water in the Elk River to have a blue-green tint and smell like licorice. After the investigation of this event has been completed, the responsibility for what was done or not done may lead to potential criminal and/ or civil charges for all those involved. ON JAN. 9, In 2003, the City of Salem Water Department had the potential to experience a similar chemical accident due to fire at a hardware store west of one of their water treatment plant intake structures. This hardware store contained numerous types of herbicides, fertilizers, paints, solvents and other various chemicals. The store was located next to a creek which feeds directly to the Roanoke River, which is the main raw water source for the City of Salem Water Treatment Plants. This structure fire became fully involved which lead to a multiple valley fire department response. Most of the water that was used on this fire flowed along with chemical runoff into the creek that led to the river. Water treatment plant staff was aware of the fire from the time the emergency call was received since several of their employees were also volunteer members of the Salem Rescue Squad. Water treatment plant staff immediately responded to this area and began monitoring the water entering from the creek to the river. It was immediately apparent that this runoff water was discolored and staff decided to implement emergency procedures to protect the citizens of Salem. The decision was made to immediately shut down the operation of the 5MGD water treatment plant that was located downstream from this fire. Fortunately, the city of Salem at this time also operated a 3MGD water treatment plant upstream from the location of the fire. Staff knew that water from this plant upstream would not be compromised. The city of Salem and the city of Roanoke had a joint water interconnect and staff from both utilities met and began pumping approximately 2MGD towards Salem to help meet the city's demand. Staff immediately began taking samples of water at the treatment plant at the time the plant 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2014

From the President
From the Executive Director
The Importance of an Immediate Response
What’s New in UV?
Proper Disposal of Pharmacy Products
Source Water Protection Notes
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Establishing a Water Distribution System Flushing Program
Wastewater Math
Curtis Water Wins Big in D.C.
Throwing My Loop: Friends to Keep You Warm
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
VRWA Mailbag
Welcome New Members
Training Calendar
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Spring 2014