EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — Monday night in East Palestine, village council laid out steps it’s taking to keep the municipal drinking water supply safe. While officials say the water is perfectly fine now, they are taking precautions to make sure it stays that way with the implementation of a filter system.
Village council members updated residents about the progress of cleanup following the Norfolk Southern train derailment on Feb. 3.
East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway says soil removal around the tracks is ongoing.
In an update on Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine said test results show 50 feet of sampled soil on the south rail line have not met clean standards. More soil will be removed from the area to be tested again. Once the soil meets safety standards, rebuilding of the track will begin.
The south track is expected to be completed next month, but there’s no word on when soil removal will start on the north track.
Conaway anticipates the removal process will last several more months.
Water testing continues weekly for the municipal water supply.
Water and wastewater superintendent Scott Wolfe stressed that the water is safe to drink in East Palestine.
The village will be receiving a shipment of carbon filters in the next six weeks, paid for by Norfolk Southern. The filters will be installed at the water treatment plant as a precaution in case chemicals from the derailment start showing up in the water supply in the future. These filters also comply with the new federal guidelines regarding PFAS, or “forever chemicals.”
“They would be essentially at the end of our treatment process before it goes into what is known as the ‘clear well.’ We look at them as a polishing unit,” Wolfe said. “If something were to come through the plant from one of the wells that was a contaminant of concern, the carbon … essentially, it works like a magnet. It adheres to the carbon and filters it out.
After the filters arrive, the village will construct protective buildings to prevent them from freezing in the winter.
Those filters are expected to be installed by this summer.