EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — Saturday, East Palestine Police are warning that Norfolk Southern will reach out to those with individual wells who may be at risk of water contamination.
First News got in touch with the village water department to check on the status of their water.
“During the whole derailment, I had the water plant and the sewer plant specifically checked every 3 to 4 hours around the clock just to make sure if something were to happen, we were on it quickly,” said Scott Wolfe, superintendent for East Palestine water and wastewater.
They’ve been doing continuous testing since the derailment. They test for a long list of volatile organic compounds — all of which have come back below detectible limits.
“You’re measuring essentially for parts per billion, so if you have a billion grains of sand, you’re trying to detect one of those. We have not detected any of those VOCs,” Wolfe said.
Their last test was on Feb. 8, and they got the results back the next day. In addition to Norfolk Southern’s tests, they’re also doing their own through the Columbiana County Health Department and EPA.
“We can cross everything and compare results,” Wolfe said.
The samplers pull water that’s piped in from each of the five wells in the village. The volatile organic compounds they’re looking for are compounds that can dissolve in air and vaporize in the air. These tests include chemicals that were on the train.
“The vinyl chloride. I know that’s the most common thing heard right now. That was below detectable limit,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe says the water is safe but this is an ongoing process and more samples will be taken this coming week.
Norfolk Southern and the EPA are still working to treat runoff in Leslie and Sulfur runs. Those streams do not feed the village’s drinking water.
Norfolk Southern is currently staffing two hotlines for residents. Residents who have questions about their drinking water quality can call 234-542-6474. Residents that wish to have their private wells tested can call 330-849-3919.
Additionally, Norfolk Southern is supplying bottled water to anyone surrounding the incident, or impacted waterways, upon request by calling the Norfolk Southern Information Line at 800-230-7049 or going to the Norfolk Southern Family Assistance Center.