NewsEast Palestine Train Derailment


Governor: Safe to drink from East Palestine municipal water system

Train Derailment Ohio
Posted at 4:30 PM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 19:08:38-05

Test results in East Palestine's five water wells that feed the city's municipal water system show no sign of contaminants, according to Gov. Mike DeWine.

Municipal water

Testing looked for contaminants in the town's raw water supply in connection with the derailment but came back negative.

"With these test results, Ohio EPA is confident that the municipal water is safe to drink," the governor said in a statement.

Officials said the five wells that were tested are all located about one mile from where the train derailment occurred on Feb. 3. The wells are located about 56 feet below the surface and are under solid steel casing designed to protect the water from contamination. Water from those wells is then combined at a water treatment plant and treated before flowing into residents' homes.

"Although it was unlikely that any contaminants entered the wells that serve the municipal water supply, Ohio EPA tested the combined, treated water soon after the derailment. Those tests showed no contamination," the governor said in the update.

Additionally, "out of an abundance of caution, Ohio EPA took samples of raw, untreated water directly from all five wells over the past week. A new sample of the combined, treated water was also collected." Those testing results showed no evidence of contamination.

Private well water

State officials are urging residents who rely on private well water to get their wells tested.

"Because private water wells may be closer to the surface than the municipal water wells, the Ohio EPA recommends that those who receive drinking water from private water wells schedule an appointment for well water testing by an independent consultant," officials said.

In the meantime, residents of East Palestine who have private well water are encouraged to use bottled water until they have their wells tested.

Call 330-849-3919 to find out more about how to schedule private well water testing.

Fish killed in nearby creeks

While drinking water is safe according to officials, some nearby streams have been contaminated. The train derailment and spillage of toxic chemicals has resulted in the deaths of 3,500 fish, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates, across approximately 7.5 miles of streams.

ODNR wildlife officers located dead fish in Leslie Run, Bull Creek and a portion of the North Fork of Beaver Creek, ODNR officials confirmed to News 5 Monday.

Norfolk Southern releases action plan for cleanup of train derailment site

CLICK HERE to read more of News 5's extensive coverage of the East Palestine train derailment.

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