MUB Partners With Downstream Strategies for Source Water
By Krista Baker, Monongalia and Preston County Reporter
MORGANTOWN - Most people don't realize that 85 percent of the
drinking water that the Morgantown Utility Board provides comes
from the Monongahela River. With an incident like the Elk River
spill in Southern West Virginia, the MUB is doing what it can to
plan and prepare for a similar situation here.
Community members were able to see the complex procedure on Monday
that transforms raw water from the Mon River into clean drinking
water for their homes.
Emily Vasile smelled chlorine in her water and became concerned
because of the recent chemical spill, so she bought a home water
"Everything came back normal. Except the water was a little bit
hard," said Vasile. "And so I posted about it in the South Park
Facebook group and people were interested, so that's when I called
and they invited me for a tour."
Using chlorine to treat the water is just one small step to make
sure the river water is safe to drink.
The MUB recently hired Downstream Strategies to update and expand
the source water protection program it's had in place since 2011.
It said this is a precaution after the Elk River spill.
"With the Freedom Industries leak in the Kanawha Valley, there's
heightened standard for performance now in source water
protection," said Timothy Ball, the General Manager at MUB. "So,
we wanted to hire a consultant to help us pursue that higher
standard and expand our program so that we can assure our
customers that we're doing everything possible to protect the raw
This protection program involves identifying threats to raw water
sources, mapping and monitoring them.
Vasile said knowing how her water is treated makes her confident
to call South Park home.
"It's a major factor in helping us decide, is this a place we want
to stay? Do we feel safe and confident with the water that we're
drinking, and bathing, and washing our dishes in every day? That's
why I'm definitely interested and why the tour was really
valuable," Vasile said.
MUB is also evaluating a feasible plan to increase the capacity of
it's secondary raw water reservoir that comes from Cobun Creek.