Chemical spilled in river reaches Louisville - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Chemical spilled in river reaches Louisville

At the lab scientists spiked river water in flasks at higher levels of the toxin than what is currently in the river. At the lab scientists spiked river water in flasks at higher levels of the toxin than what is currently in the river.
Scientists at the Louisville Water Company are putting their noses to the test. Scientists at the Louisville Water Company are putting their noses to the test.
Kelley Dearing-Smith Kelley Dearing-Smith

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Scientists at the Louisville Water Company are putting their noses to the test. Friday they were sniffing out chemicals from the West Virginia spill that have now reached Louisville.

"Our nose is actually maybe more sensitive for some of them and this compound in particular," a scientist at the utility testing lab explained.

The toxin is MCHM. At the lab scientists spiked river water in flasks at higher levels of the toxin than what is currently in the river.

The reservoir was darker in color Friday because of the use of carbon which is helping LWC get rid of the toxins smell.

The amount of MCHM in the river Friday was measured at 10 parts per billion. That's well below the 50 parts figure deemed safe by the CDC.

"I'll be drinking the water, my family will be drinking the water, but it's really your choice," LWC Spokesperson Kelley Dearing-Smith said.

Some would rather buy it than risk it. Stores have had to stock up on extra H2O.

"It's definitely increased over the past few days," Kroger co-manager Craig Hudson said of his sales. "We've had to fill it up a few more times than normal."

Back at the lab the sniff test continued.

"We've gotten pretty attuned to the smells of the river and the non-odors of the finished water," scientists explained.

The toxin will continue to move down river and is expected to leave Louisville in about a day taking its smell with it.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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