Triad Engineering has confirmed an error in a study it conducted for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection on water supplies in the Prenter area of Boone County.
The study, which included the sampling of 33 domestic wells, was released on Tuesday and did not reveal evidence of widespread mining-induced impacts to groundwater quality in the study area. However, Triad said one laboratory sample of a domestic well exceeded the primary drinking water standard for lead.
Although the agency and Triad Engineering staff carefully reviewed the data, this parameter was accidentally overlooked by both.
“While this does not change the overall scope of the study, exceeding the drinking water standard for lead is serious and we are glad this error was found,” said Randy C. Huffman, cabinet secretary for the DEP.
A citizen who read the study pointed out the error.
The owner of the well with the elevated lead value lives in an area served by public water. The DEP is trying to reach the owner to make him aware of the finding and will investigate the cause of the elevated lead levels.
None of the other 32 wells sampled in the study area exceeded the primary drinking water standards for metals.
“We have reviewed the domestic well data once again and confirmed that no other values exceeded the primary drinking water standards in the domestic wells. The lead value was not highlighted on the spreadsheet and not called out in the report due to human error,” said John Meeks, lead geologist with Triad Engineering.”