Focus switches from contamination to cost of treating water - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Focus switches from contamination to cost of treating water

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Although that chemical plume in the Ohio River didn't contaminate Evansville's water supply, it did leave an impact.

The good news is the water is safe to drink. The plume we've been talking about for several days has now come and gone.

Officials say none of the chemicals spilled into the river in West Virginia were detected in the river, but that doesn't mean the city's water utility wasn't affected. 
     
Now the focus has changed to the cost of treating the water for those chemicals. The city says it has a plan to treat the water with activated carbon for 30 hours. They began that process last night and officials say it's a very expensive process.

The say they'll now begin looking into exactly how much that treatment cost the city along with all the over-time from staff members.
     
But officials say it's worth the investment and the peace of mind.

"Not knowing what the strength of the chemical might have been when it got here and the fact that you want to be ahead of it, not behind it, where any of it would ever get into the system here. Right now, we're probably producing some of the most pure water, clean water, if you will.  We've always met and exceeded standards, but this is going to far exceed water quality standards for a period of time here. It's expensive, but it's worth the investment," says Allen Mounts, the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility Director.

The city's water utility has been hit hard with nearly 120 water main breaks across the city so far this year. They say they hope to have an estimate on the cost soon.

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