After nearly a month, a West Virginia community can use water again

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PADEN CITY, W.Va. (AP) — Residents of a northern West Virginia community can use their tap water again after nearly a month, officials said.

A hand reaches up to a water faucet as water pours out
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The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources approved a request on Tuesday to lift a “do not consume” notice for customers of Paden City Water Works.

Residents of Paden City were told not to use their tap on Aug. 16 after a pump valve malfunctioned at a treatment plant and allowed the release of a hazardous solvent, tetrachloroethylene, into the Ohio River community.

Tetrachloroethylene is a harmful chemical widely used by dry cleaners. Paden City officials have said a dry cleaner in the town of about 2,500 residents closed early this century.

After the leak was fixed, the system was flushed and water samples tested until results showed the water was safe to use again, officials said.

“At this point probably, we’ve pumped somewhere in the neighborhood of eight or nine million gallons of water out through the system and out so if there’s any left in the system it’s a very trace amount,” Paden City Superintendent Josh Billiter said.