Carmichaels Residents Concerned About Water Quality

CARMICHAELS (KDKA) — More than a dozen communities rely on the Monongahela River for their drinking water and they haven’t reported any problems.

The story is different in the small community of Carmichaels.

A buildup of algae in Carmichaels prompted letters from the water authority a few months ago advising residents to boil their water.

The advisory has been lifted, but some people remain concerned.

“It’s been horrible for us,” Marlene Butorac said. “My husband and I in particular because he’s on an artificial heart pump and he has low iron and a low immune system.”

The algae formed when the water authority reduced chlorine treatment to try to lower the levels of a carcinogen called TTHM, a byproduct of a mix of chlorine and bromide, a pollutant found in raw Mon River water.

According to the authority, the problem is most likely the result of Marcellus Shale drilling which is prevalent in the area.

More than 100 Carmichaels area residents packed a meeting looking for answers. The DEP says TTHMs only cause health problems after prolonged exposure.

“[If] a 200-pound man were to drink two liters of that water every day for a period of 70 years,” Kay Frederick with the DEP said.

Cancer survivor Terri Donaldson said she’s frustrated and extremely worried.

“I don’t want anyone in Carmichaels to be sick over this water,” she said. “And we deserve clean drinking water.”

Local residents urged the Carmichaels Municipal Water Authority to hook up with a different water supply system at least temporarily until their problems are solved.

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  • Anonymous

    you people are stupid. quit blaming everything on marcellus shale drilling, because it’s most likely actually NOT their fault. you idiots will do anything to make the drilling industry look terrible, when it’s actually a great thing. look up the facts and do your research before you print a story. you just make more and more people believe that drilling is evil. you guys are idiots, seriously. LOOK UP THE FACTS, PEOPLE!!!!!! DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING THE MEDIA TELLS YOU, BECAUSE IT’S A BUNCH OF LIES!!!!

  • Anonymous

    well how about you come to Carmichaels and drink the water? you are an Idiot who probably works for a drilling company and don’t care about anything so long as YOU get YOUR paycheck….go somewhere and die idiot!

  • John Moyer

    The oil & gas industry will not protect you.

  • RAB

    Watched this on the news last evening. The coverae for the meeting was okay, but the treatment plant shown during the report was the community sewage treatment plant, not the water plant whose performance is questionable. Perhaps more attention should be given to details that are accurate. Also, people need to bear in mind that if the bromide in the source water was the real problem, the otherr water providers who draw from the same pool of the Monongahela River would also be experiencing the same difficulty. This is NOT the case. The Carmichaels plant needs to be overhauled or replaced before the algae and bacteria hovering at the plant seriously sicken or kill somebody.

  • Cathy

    So, pr-longed exposure would harm someone, a 200lb man after 70 years. What about my 2 month old? What about 18 years of exposure to it for her? I have to use water in her bottles every day. She’s drinking lots of water every day. Am I supposed to not worry about her health? Cause lately I feel like I’m poisoning my baby every time I feed her. There’s no way I am trusting the water. I’m buying my water and getting some from my parent’s…who live in Nemacolin and gets their water from Southwest. Carmichaels Water needs to just shut down. No one is going to trust them after all of this. I don’t care who is at fault. The focus needs to be on fixing the problem, not on who is to blame.

  • Lois

    Carmichaels Water Authority should contact Jacobi Carbons. This world wide company makes water filtration units and systems for all sorts of things, business, etc. It might take some money but it would fix the problems with the water.

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