Investigators continued to puzzle this week over how smells and dangerous levels of gas turned up in the air in the town of Louisa, and possibly in the public water supply.
The town and the Louisa County Water Authority released a statement Tuesday pointing to natural gas and methane as possible culprits in the Nov. 29 water scare. Officials also suggested a build-up of sewer gas could have been at fault.
“Our primary focus is on identifying the cause and we believe we may be close to doing so,” Mayor Garland Nuckols said.
To try to narrow down the list of possible contaminants, officials on Friday ordered a mass spectrometry test, a method of separating out gases within a sample. The results of that test were not back yet from a state lab as of Tuesday, Nuckols said. A third-party engineering firm may also be hired to assist with the investigation.
The focus of the past week has been on the town’s water, but Jim Moore, Virginia Health Department Office of Drinking Water field director, cautioned that no gas was ever identified in water.