Beginners and Beyond

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Chemical Spill (Read 119 times)


Hip Hip Hooray

    Mr. O's hometown - scary stuff.   A coal processing plant contaminated the main river through Charleston.  They cannot use water for anything - bathing, drinking, washing clothes, nothing but flushing toilets.  Restaurants closed, schools closed, etc.

     

    And it's a chemical (4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol) so boiling water won't do anything to help.  Holy cow.

     

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/wva-gov-declares-emergency-chem-spill-21481911

    W.Va. Gov Declares Emergency After Chemical Spill
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. January 10, 2014 (AP)


    West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency for five counties Thursday night because of a chemical spill into the Elk River in Charleston, advising residents not to drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes in the water and to only use it for flushing.

    The chemical, used in the coal preparation process, leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries and overran a containment area on Thursday. The amount that spilled isn't immediately known, but a West Virginia American Water has a treatment plant nearby. Freedom Industries did not immediately respond for comment.

     

    The declaration involves customers of West Virginia American Water in the counties of Kanawha, Boone, Jackson, Lincoln and Putnam. Water company President Jeff McIntyre said the advisory affects up to 100,000 customers. "The water has been contaminated," Tomblin said.

     

    Tomblin said the advisory also extends to restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and other establishments that use tap water.

    Officials are not sure what threat the chemical spill poses to humans. McIntyre and state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management director Jimmy Gianato said the chemical isn't lethal in its strongest form. Kanawha County emergency officials said the chemical is called 4-methylcyclohexane methanol. The Elk River flows into the Kanawha River in downtown Charleston. The Kanawha eventually flows into the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, about 55 miles to the northwest.

     

    A chemical smell similar to licorice was detected in the air both outdoors and in areas where it had already reached the water supply on Thursday night. Kanawha-Charleston Health Department spokesman John Law said restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals and other establishments with health permits are being asked to "cease operations." But with the notice going out at the dinner hour, it wasn't immediately known how wide a net the do-not-use advisory was cast.

     

    happylily


      Without wanting to sound too much like Leonard Cohen, looks like the future to me... Scary, scary stuff, Oski. I'm really sorry for your DH and his hometown. 

      PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

              Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

      4 years racing, 15 marathons, 15 BQs     

        About 20 miles from where I live.  My parents and my in-laws are affected but we're on a different water supply so we're not.  Apparently, I'm the only person on the planet that finds it ironic that the spill came from a place called "Freedom Industries."  I probably offended a few folks by saying that people were idiots for buying up like 5-6 cases of water.  Sheesh.  I have little hope for humanity in a true emergency.

        Short term goal: 17:59 5K

        Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

        Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


        Hip Hip Hooray

          I thought you were nearby, LTH.

           

          FEMA is being brought in, so they should at least have drinking water soon... but not being able to shower?  That'll get old, fast.

           

            While true, it will also pass in a day or two at the most.  Wet wipes are your friend.

            Short term goal: 17:59 5K

            Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

            Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


            Hip Hip Hooray

              Hopefully, yeah.

               

              A picture from this news article.    WHY is this child running around Target in a bikini and flipflops?  lol  I understand they can't wash clothes right now, but I have to imagine she had other options, even if they were dirty.  

               

               

               


              Hip Hip Hooray

                This morning's update - Chemical is STILL leeching, or seeping into the Elk River, according to West Virginia American Water. Freedom Industries expected to release a statement at 10:30 a.m.

                 

                Uh.  Seems like stopping the leak might be a good first step.  Yikes.

                 

                redrum


                Caretaker/Overlook Hotel

                  If they just throw a little Glucosamine into the river and give all the people Glucosamine supplements, they will be immune from the effects of the chemical in their system.

                   

                  I read it on the internet!!!

                   

                  Dancing banana in 3, 2, 1.........

                   

                   

                   

                  On a more serious note...........we have 300 million people within our borders.  We all need resources.  Coal keeps things moving & stuff like this is gonna happen, unfortunately.  At least we're not a 3rd world country & know how to handle this stuff.  Hopefully folks will be back to normal soon.  Definitely scary but I'm sure people are working hard to resolve it.

                   

                  P.S.  i thought the same thing about the girl in the bikini.  What the H???

                   Randy


                  Hip Hip Hooray

                    Actually, no - things like this don't have to happen.  For that amount to make it into the Elk River, the leak must have been significant and  must have passed the dikes and berms built for exactly that reason - to avoid a river contamination.  In addition, the company didn't even report the leak, people started calling the police after hours of a weird, sweet smell around town and that's how they figured it out.

                     

                    Somebody done effed up, here.

                     

                      "Stuff like this is going to happen" is just nonsense.  This could only happen through a failure of multiple safety protocols or flat out ignoring them.  The problem right now is that no one knows how dangerous this stuff is.  No chemicals are dangerous if diluted sufficiently but how sufficiently this particular chemical - 4-methylcyclohexane methanol - needs to be diluted is not established.  The other problem is that there is no way to treat the water to remove this chemical.  Everyone will have to wait until it dissipates.

                      Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                      Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                      Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


                      Old , Ugly and slow

                        I live 2 miles from the leak.

                         

                        I did go get bottled water.

                         

                        The leak was about 5000 gallons and my be still leaking very close to the water plant.

                         

                        People are all ready acting crazy after one day. If

                         

                        They passed water out across from my office.

                        first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007

                         

                        2014goals   1300  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes

                        redrum


                        Caretaker/Overlook Hotel

                          "Stuff like this is going to happen" is just nonsense.  This could only happen through a failure of multiple safety protocols or flat out ignoring them.  The problem right now is that no one knows how dangerous this stuff is.  No chemicals are dangerous if diluted sufficiently but how sufficiently this particular chemical - 4-methylcyclohexane methanol - needs to be diluted is not established.  The other problem is that there is no way to treat the water to remove this chemical.  Everyone will have to wait until it dissipates.

                           

                          But whether it's a list of protocols or simply driving a big rig in high winds, or oil rig or freighter down the road or thru the water ways.......it happens!!

                           

                          We're all human & I'm sure somebody most likely *did* screw up but nonsense or not......I'll await the next oil spill & you can tell me all about how nonsensical it is again when it happens because everybody certainly learned after the Exxon spill, right?

                           

                          P.S.  I always keep 3 cases of bottled water cycling thru (only buying 1 at a time since the initial purchase) for this very reason.  Water is DEFINITELY a primary resource!!

                           Randy


                          Hip Hip Hooray

                            Yikes, sorry, Tom!   My husband's family is all in the Big Chimney/Elkview/Clendenin area - so all right along the Elk River - but thankfully upriver from the spill.

                             

                            I just read the plant was 1 mile upriver from the intake for WV American water.       Actually, knowing how many chemical plants were/are along the Elk and Kanawha rivers that doesn't really surprise me but still... oy.

                             

                              Even those upriver can be affected if they get their water from West Virginia American Water.

                               

                              And I don't accept that "stuff like this happens."  It does but it doesn't have to happen.  The President of the University where I work is on the Board of Directors for a local hospital.  I may get the details wrong but essentially, the issue was that the hospital wanted to get their OR infection rate below the national average.  Someone asked the heretical question: "Why is any infection in the OR acceptable?"  Because someone asked that question, others asked that question.  "Why is it acceptable for anyone to get infected in the operating room?"  If the answer is, "it's not" the next question is, "can we adopt procedures to prevent it from happening."  As it turned out, the answer to that question was, "it's not easy but yes you can."  So they did.  And now, people don't get infected in the OR because "stuff like that doesn't have to happen."

                              Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                              Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                              Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


                              Hip Hip Hooray

                                Even those upriver can be affected if they get their water from West Virginia American Water.

                                 

                                 

                                Yes, totally - they are all in the no water zone.  I just meant their properties are all on the river but not where it was contaminated - so no smell, etc.   Their tap water certainly is at risk of contamination.

                                 

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