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No Harmful Chemicals Detected in Evansville’s Drinking Water


The latest lab tests from the Evansville Water & Sewer Utility (EWSU) continue to show below-detection levels of MCHM in intake water from the Ohio River, and all odor tests yield negative results.

Based on projected arrival times upriver, the peak of the plume was expected to reach Evansville at 10 a.m. today, when concentration of the chemical was expected to be at its highest. Tests have indicated concentration continues to be below 1 part per billion, rendering the chemical below detection level.

EWSU lab technicians have been taking hourly samples since 11:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 19. All samples have shown no detection of the chemical. As a precaution, EWSU began treating all intake water with activated carbon treatments at noon Sunday and will continue activated carbon treatments through 5:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 21. If the chemical continues to be undetectable, at midnight tonight, EWSU will cut back to sample analysis every three hours for the next six to 12 hours and return to normal testing protocol by the end of the day Tuesday.

There is no detection of MCHM in Evansville’s drinking water. Utility officials expect levels of MCHM will continue to be undetectable as the peak of the plume travels away from the City.

Below is a report from the EWSU lab as of noon, Monday, Jan. 20

Intake water: Intake water from the Ohio River is measuring the chemical MCHM at below 1 part per billion (ppb), making it unmeasurable.

Drinking water: The level of MCHM coming in to EWSU’s intake system from the Ohio River is less than 1 part per billion, making it undetectable and unmeasurable. As a precaution, EWSU is continuing to use carbon treatments at the treatment plant. There is no MCHM in Evansville’s drinking water.

EWSU has been working closely with the Ohio River Valley Water and Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) and Louisville Water to address this issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have indicated that levels of MCHM below 50 parts per billion (ppb) do not pose a public health concern.

EWSU has created a message center on its website to update residents and businesses regarding water quality and common concerns.

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