Paducah Water Ohio Train Derailment Update

Date of Release: 
February 25, 2023

Paducah Water Ohio Train Derailment Update: Butyl Acrylate Undetected in OHIO RIVER NEAR PADUCAH

Brief Summary:

  • PW’s water is safe
  • There continues to be no impact to PW’s customers
  • Butyl acrylate was not detected within 650 miles of Paducah
  • Paducah Water’s testing confirms no detectable levels
  • Paducah Water is no longer considering the release of butyl acrylate to be a matter of concern. 

Paducah Water is thankful to report the butyl acrylate plume created by the East Palestine, Ohio derailment has decreased to a point that it cannot be detected by laboratory equipment. 

The elimination of the initial butyl acrylate plume was anticipated because of volatilization and dilution as it moved slowly down the Ohio River.  Significant rainfall accelerated the dilution of the plume.

It is estimated the Ohio River water that formerly contained butyl acrylate likely moved past Paducah’s intakes yesterday.  There was no impact to Paducah’s source water, and at no time since the train derailment has PW observed detectable levels of butyl acrylate.  Even if it had been detected, PW’s treatment process is well suited to remove it. 

Sample results obtained by Paducah Water since the derailment are consistent with results provided by ORSANCO, Greater Cincinnati Water Works, and Louisville Water, and others, which demonstrated butyl acrylate was not detected at any point below Gallipolis, Ohio.  Gallipolis is more than 650 miles upriver from Paducah. 

Paducah Water’s sample results, as well as a link to results obtained by ORSANCO and other partner utilities along the Ohio River, can be found by visiting PW’s website.  There is a link at the top of the home page.

As a result of these multiple water quality confirmations, Paducah Water is no longer considering the release of butyl acrylate from the train derailment to be a matter of concern. 

As Paducah Water returns to regular monitoring over the coming days, we would like to take a moment to thank our partner, ORSANCO, and our water colleagues along the Ohio River for their incredible response and the heightened level of attention they devoted to this tragic accident in East Palestine, Ohio. 

Paducah Water will be continuing to work to ensure that your drinking water is safe.