CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Public Service Commission has ordered for an additional report to be filed by Commission Staff in the case of determining whether the City of Paden City and Paden City Municipal Water Works is a distressed or failing utility.

The report must be filed within the next 45 days. The City of Paden City, Paden City Municipal Water Works, City of New Martinsville, City of Sistersville, and Tyler County Public Service District have within 10 days to file a response to the report.

The PSC said Monday that filing an additional report is reasonable in order to find potential alternative water sources available to serve as the City’s primary or back-up water source.

On Aug. 16, the state Bureau of Public Health issued a ‘do not consume’ water order for the Paden City system after three consecutive samples showed negative detectable levels of tetrachloroethylene, also known as PCE. Tetrachloroethylene is a chemical commonly used in dry cleaning.

Residents were allowed to start drinking the water again on Sept. 12 after the state lifted the order.

Last October, Staff petitioned the Commission to open an investigation into Paden City to determine if they were a distressed or failing utility. A month later, the city responded and said they were not.

Staff alleged that City residents had been experiencing water contaminated with tetrachloroethylene since 2018. In 2023, the City’s water distribution system exceeded the federal maximum contaminant level for tetrachloroethylene.

In letters filed in January, the City of New Martinsville, City of Sistersville, and Tyler County Public Service District all denied being capable of supporting the City’s system.

New Martinsville said they are willing to enter into a water purchase agreement with the City if a water line extension is constructed. The estimated cost of that project would be about $4 million.

The PSC said the City continues to consider other possible solutions to address its contaminated groundwater issue. More information is needed on alternative water supply sources and the remediation planned for the Paden City Groundwater site.

Paden City has 1,161 sewer customers and the Paden City Municipal Water Works has 1,204 water customers in Wetzel and Tyler counties.