Contingency Plan Calls For Temporary Waterlines

West Virginia American Water taking extra precautions in response to increasing algal bloom activity on the Ohio River.

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West Virginia American Water initiated a contingency plan last week for a temporary backup water supply to its Huntington water treatment plant in response to increasing algal bloom activity on the Ohio River. 

The company’s contingency plan included running large, temporary waterlines from the Guyandotte River and tying them into the company’s current waterline. The work took around 48 hours to complete. 

Company engineers calculated the necessary emergency pump and line capacities to draw water from the Guyandotte River approximately three-quarters of a mile upstream of the confluence of the Ohio River to avoid the lower section of the Guyandotte that is most influenced by Ohio River backflow water. The work will be performed by contractors who specialize in installing and operating temporary waterlines.

“West Virginia American Water initiated this contingency plan today after reviewing testing results and considering the time required to construct a temporary alternate intake,” said Jeffrey McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water, in a press release. “We consulted with our environmental regulatory agencies and made this decision with careful consideration of technical feasibility, current and predicted risk to the water system, and time necessary to execute the plan.” 

Photos of the monumental work performed over the past 48 hours after enacting our contingency plan in response to the...

Posted by West Virginia American Water on Saturday, September 5, 2015


“We have great confidence in our treatment plant’s capabilities and ultimately may not need to use this backup source,” McIntyre said. “However, after weighing all of the factors, we feel the best decision is to take extra precaution for the protection of our customers in the event that the blooms worsen.”


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