Video Showing Odd Colors in Ohio Water Viewed 7 Million Times

A video that appears to show water contamination in a river in Ohio, following a train derailment earlier this month, has gone viral on social media.

The Norfolk Southern transport company train derailed near the Ohio town of East Palestine, carrying about 150 cars, 20 of which contained hazardous material on February 4.

The footage, initially posted by video journalist Nick Sortor, shows a woman throwing a small log into a river in East Palestine, Ohio, and odd colors begin to appear on the surface. The two people in the clip suggest the water is contaminated and the chemicals are rising from the bottom rather than sitting on the water surface.

Discussion surrounding the video has reignited fears that the water and the surrounding area may be badly contaminated, despite assurances from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the area is safe.

Ohio train derailment water
A clean-up crew works alongside a stream as clean-up efforts continue on February 16, 2023, in East Palestine, Ohio, and smoke rises from the derailed cargo train on February 4. A video that appears to show water contamination in a river in Ohio has gone viral on social media. Getty

The video has been viewed more than 7.2 million times since being posted on February 16. Twitter page Rawsalerts shared the clip and captioned it: "New video shows the water in East Palestine Ohio is badly contaminated.

"Reporter Nick Sortor is currently on the ground covering the devastation in East Palestine Ohio after a train carrying hazardous materials derailed and burst into flames.

"Video shows the water in East Palestine Ohio is extremely contaminated after the EPA said it's safe to drink."

In his own caption, Nick Sortor went as far as to accuse the EPA of being dishonest about the safety of the water in the area.

He said: "Even more proof that the EPA is lying to the people of East Palestine. This water is insanely contaminated."

On February 15, the Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, issued a press release on the findings by the EPA regarding the water quality.

The release read: "New water testing results have been returned to the Ohio EPA. These results show no detection of contaminants in raw water from the five wells that feed into East Palestine's municipal water system.

"Test results from the combined, treated water from all five wells also showed no detection of contaminants associated with the derailment. With these tests results, Ohio EPA is confident that the municipal water is safe to drink."

The water that the EPA says is safe to drink comes from municipal wells deep underground.

The release said: "East Palestine's municipal water system, which provides drinking water for most area residents, takes in water from five wells that are located approximately one mile from the derailment site.

"The municipal wells are at least 56 feet below the surface and are covered by a solid steel casing that protects the water from contamination. Before drinking water is made available to the public, water from these five wells is combined at the water treatment plant and treated.

"Although it was unlikely that any contaminants entered the wells that serve the municipal water supply, Ohio EPA tested the combined, treated water soon after the derailment. Those tests showed no contamination."

Newsweek has contacted the EPA for comment.