Division of Water
Oil leak in Letcher County leads to consumer advisory
The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) is working with the Whitesburg Water Works in Letcher County to resolve water quality issues associated with contamination of the public drinking water system. A consumer advisory issued Monday remains in effect pending the results of additional test samples taken of the source water and treated water in the distribution system.
A consumer advisory is issued when there is a possibility that consumption of water produced by a drinking water treatment plant may be harmful to human health. Plant-produced water should be used for sanitary flushing purposes only. Until the advisory is lifted, the water should not be used for bathing, showering or household cleaning, including washing of clothes and vehicles.
The Environmental Response Team (ERT) received reports Sunday of a petroleum odor in the drinking water plant distribution system as well as a sheen on the North Fork of the Kentucky River. Further investigation led to the discovery of damaged fuel storage tanks leaking petroleum four miles upstream from the water plant intake.
Legal action against the responsible party is forthcoming, said Peter Goodmann, DOW assistant director.