ASHLAND, Ky. (FOX 56) — The Ohio River Sanitation Commission anticipates water pollution from the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio to arrive in Kentucky by Sunday. Ashland is now taking precautions to ensure its water supply remains safe.

On Friday, officials from Ashland announced they would be cutting of their water supply from the Ohio River while chemical pollution passes through their portion of the Ohio River.

“We want to reiterate this is precautionary, and your water is safe to drink,” the city officials said in a statement.

According to the statement, the city can go for up to three days without drawing from the Ohio River and still provide water to Ashland.

Nexstar’s WKBN reported the Norfolk Southern train derailed around 9 p.m. on Feb. 3. Federal investigators said a mechanical issue with a rail car axle caused the fiery derailment near the Pennsylvania state line.

The train cars contained hazardous materials such as vinyl chloride, combustible liquids, butyl acrylate, benzene residue, and nonhazardous materials such as wheat, plastic pellets, malt liquors, and lube oil, Norfolk Southern said in a statement.


On Thursday, the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) released 133 tests of the Ohio River all testing negative for butyl acrylate, vinyl chloride, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, and ethyl hexyl acrylate.

On Friday, Lousiville Water attempted to ease its customer’s minds a second time.

Pete Goodmann, director of water quality and research, said in a news release he doesn’t believes the pollution will be detected in Louisville at all.

“A slow-moving river provides time for the pollutants to dissipate, and we just had significant rain that will increase dilution as these contaminants move down stream. The river is our friend. It tends to fix its own issues,” Goodmann said.

Data from Ohio River Sanitation Commission shows butyl acrylate was found as far south as Parksburg on Monday.

Kentucky agencies that use water from the Ohio River continue to agree that water will remain safe to drink and those choosing to cut off intake only do so out of an excess of caution.

Updates on water testing in Kentucky?

The Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission offers weekly updates on the state and quality of the river, they also are regularly updating information related to the test for vinyl chloride, combustible liquids, butyl acrylate, and benzene residue.

“We are currently below the 1.00 ppb detection level at all sites sampled from as far upstream as Parkersburg, WV (Ohio River Mile 184.5) and as far downstream as Racine Hydro Dam (Ohio River Mile 237.7),” the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission website reads.