MONTGOMERY – West Virginia American Water is alerting all its customers in the Montgomery area that as a result of a train derailment just east of Montgomery, its water plant was shut down earlier this afternoon. West Virginia American Water expects that approximately 2000 customers in the Montgomery area will lose their water service within a few hours if the plant remains shut down.
The company is awaiting confirmation from DEP and emergency responders as to whether or not crude oil migrated into the Kanawha River from Armstrong Creek, which is the tributary impacted by the derailment. If there is clear confirmation from responders that crude oil and other potential contaminants resulting from the accident did not reach the Kanawha River, the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health has given West Virginia American Water permission to restart its Montgomery water treatment plant.
While awaiting further information, West Virginia American Water is sourcing local bottled water supplies as well as working to secure larger supplies of water and safe distribution sites for their impacted customers. As soon as the sites are identified, the company will issue updated information via the media, its website and social media.
The Montgomery water treatment plant, which draws water from the Kanawha River a few miles downstream of the accident, provides water service to the communities of Montgomery, Smithers, Cannelton, London, Handley and Hughes Creek. The company’s Kanawha Valley and New River systems are not affected by this event.
West Virginia American Water is working with emergency responders and the Bureau for Public Health on continued response efforts. The company is also working to identify additional emergency water supply options. West Virginia American Water apologizes to all its customers for this inconvenience and thanks them for their patience as we work quickly to respond to this event.