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With C8 filters ready, Vienna to restart water system

VIENNA, W.Va. — The City of Vienna will officially go back on its own water today at 10 a.m.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said the carbon filters put in place this summer by Chemours are working as expected, prompting the move to disconnect the City of Vienna from the City of Parkersburg’s water system.

”We received our lab results (Monday) morning at 9:15 a.m. showing the carbon filters are working perfectly,” he said ”We now have non-detectable levels of C8 in our water system.”

The city hooked into the Parkersburg Utility Board system over the summer after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established a health advisory for long-term exposure to C8, also called PFOA, of 0.07 parts per billion, lowered from the 0.4 ppb short-term health advisory set in 2009.

C8, an unregulated chemical by the EPA which was used to make Teflon at the former DuPont Washington Works, now Chemours, is a suspected carcinogen and has been linked, in a study, to six diseases in humans — kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy induced hypertension including preeclampsia and hypercholesterolemia — and was the subject of a class action lawsuit settled in 2005. A science panel established by the settlement of a lawsuit against the company studied the health data of 70,000 residents in the region.

Most of Vienna’s wells originally showed concentrations of C8 greater than 0.1 ppb.

The City of Parkersburg stepped in to help the City of Vienna in May. The connection with Parkersburg served about a third of Vienna water customers from 23rd Street south, which covered the bulk of commercial customers in the city.

Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo said they were glad to be able to help.

”We are proud the city was able to step up and help our neighbors,” he said.

The connections will be left in place in case something happens in the future where either city would need assistance like this again.

”This is a good fail-safe to have in place,” Colombo said.

After the switch back is completed this morning, Vienna will entirely be back on its own water again, Rapp said.

”Our water is better now than it ever has been,” he said. ”This allows us to go back on our own system.”

Rapp commended the City of Parkersburg for the connection and helping them out when they needed it. Now it is time for Vienna to go back on its own water.

”They do have a large city they do have to take care of,” Rapp said of Parkersburg. ”It was very gracious of them to have done this to let us have their water so our commercial district and our lower end of town could stay on city water.”

That allowed many businesses and others not to have to deal with bottled water for an extended period of time.

”They were on it for just a few days, but we all got it turned around pretty quickly,” Rapp said. ”We were grateful the City of Parkersburg was willing to work with us.

”We will do the same if we are ever called on.”

The switch-over will happen at the connection located in the Home Depot parking lot with Rapp and Colombo there to officially turn the valve.

”This is a big deal for us,” Rapp said.

See more from the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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