GA - Water woes from chemical derailment : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Water woes from chemical derailment

Tuesday, September 5, 2000 By United Press International

About 60,000 Georgia residents were told Monday not to use their county's water supply because of possible contamination from a train derailment and chemical spill. People in Walton County, about 50 miles east of Atlanta, were told not to use the county's water for cooking, drinking or making ice until further notice. The county's public schools canceled classes for Tuesday because of the water problems.

Officials were investigating whether the county's water was affected when about 20,000 gallons of methanol and ethylene glycol spilled when 15 cars in a CSX freight train cars derailed Sunday near Lawrenceville. There were no injuries in the derailment.

Six of the cars leaked, including five carrying ethylene glycol and one carrying methanol. The chemicals are used to make antifreeze.

The Alcovy River, about 250 yards away, supplies drinking water for Newton and Walton counties, including the city of Monroe, about 20 miles downstream. An analysis Monday found elevated levels of methanol in the river. Authorities in Newton County had switched to an alternate water source.

CSX spokesman Dan Murphy had earlier said that it was unlikely the spill had reached the river and affected the safety of drinking water. The train was en route from New Orleans to Greenwood, N.C.

"If there was any that leaked, it was very minimal," he said. "This occurred in a rural area."

-- Doris (, September 05, 2000


Derailments this year are still running about 3 times average, one of the last remnants of y2k, I guess.

-- JackW (, September 06, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ