Paden City Drinking Water Contaminated Due To Valve Failure
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Paden City Drinking Water Contaminated Due To Valve Failure

May 28, 2023

PC Residents line up for water giveaway

Paden City residents are again experiencing contaminated water after it was discovered the new air stripper plant had a valve failure causing Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) to bypass the air stripper and enter the drinking water supply. According to city officials the issue is fixed and they are flushing the system to ensure the water is safe. A post on the Mayorás facebook page states they have issued a do not use order and they will inform residents as new information becomes available.

In the meantime residents have been advised that the contaminate has been entering the water since at least July 19. The national drinking water standard is 5ppb. Paden Cityás last sample on July 19, was at 30ppb. Residents have been told to avoid using the water, including taking a bath or shower, washing laundry, and even running the dishwasher.

PCE is known to impact the nervous system, kidneys, liver, and brain. City officialás begin handing out bottled water to residents on Friday, August 18, and again on Saturday, August 19, at the fire hall. On Friday they ran out of water early, but later in the day received another shipment. Saturday water was to be handed out between noon and 3 p.m.

PCE was found to contaminate Paden City soil as it migrated down through the ground and into the water aquifer. It is known as a commonly used dry cleaning solution and is believed to have been dumped outside of the Band Box Cleaners which is located adjacent to Paden City high school. The Plume of PCE shifts around within the aquifer, so the 30ppb sample collected can be expected to fluctuate lower and higher, depending on how the plume moves near the water intake.

The EPA has been testing and taking samples near the old Band Box Cleaners and in Paden City high schools parking lot much of this year. Sampling is expected to continue for the rest of the summer.

Although it is known the sample taken on July 19, 2023 was at 30ppb it is unknown exactly how long it had been high because samples are only taken quarterly and the previous one was taken on March 10, 2023. Some residents are suggesting more frequent sampling and quicker results. Paden City Residents pay for clean water and according to EPA officials everyone deserves clean drinking water. In 2022 Paden City was delcared a Superfund site due to the contamination. Hopefully cleanup can occur before more soil is contaminated.

New samples were taken in the past couple days by the EPA, however no results have been received according to city officials. As of late Monday, the do not use order was still in effect and residents are having to use bottled water and shower wherever they can locate a place. Many are even afraid to flush their commodes due to vapor exposure.

However Paden City high school near the band box cleaners where the highest concentrations of PCE originated remains open, using bottled water and hand sanitizer.

The Paden City Water Crisis Group says a University of Kentucky Health Survey is coming soon by Dr. Erin Haynes. The Water Crisis Group was formed during the initial stages of Paden Cityás exposure to the contaminate. They have submitted a grant to cover the costs of sampling Paden City residents breath and blood for PCE levels.

The Mayor says water handouts will continue, but residents are looking for answers to the disaster which exposed them for at least a month before they were notified.

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