VIENNA – In light of changes in the federal guidelines regarding acceptable levels of C8 in drinking water, a special meeting of Vienna City Council was called Friday to let the public know what is being done to provide drinking water.
Prior to Thursday, the established health advisory threshold was .4 parts per billion, but in a surprise announcement the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lowered that level to .07 parts per billion.
Under the old guidelines the water supply for the city was deemed safe; however, with the change tap water from the Vienna Water Department is now considered not safe.
Mayor Randy Rapp said the ultimate goal is to install carbon filters. However, he said filter installation could take up to three months since one would be needed at each of the three well fields. He said the cost could be between $2 million and $4 million at each site.
Rapp said the city is working with an engineering firm to work out the details of the filters or to tie in with the City of Parkersburg’s water system.
Manpower is a problem the city is facing in distributing water, he said.
“We hit one snag; we were turned down for help from the National Guard,” Rapp said. “We are working to see if they will reconsider.”
Since the water stations need to have someone available seven days a week, 12 hours a day, Rapp said, it will strain the city’s budget to keep the stations open and for overnight security when the stations are closed.
“We are going to incur a lot of overtime to keep those watering stations open, so we have to be prepared for that,” he said. “The Red Cross informed us the health department has a list of 100 people to help and we are going to utilize those volunteer lists starting next week.”