NITRO, W.Va. – Teresa Seawright hasn’t had a drink from her tap, a shower in her bathroom or done one dish in her kitchen sink in the last month. While others in her Nitro neighborhood are getting back to normal after last month’s chemical leak Seawright said nothing is normal at her home.
“West Virginia American Water, Freedom Industries or the federal government can come take care of this but somebody needs to take care of my water because I’m not happy anymore!”
In fact, Seawright is very unhappy. She explained the problem started on Jan. 9 when 10,000 gallons of MCHM and PPH leaked into the Elk River contaminating the water for more than 100,000 WVAW customers in parts of nine counties. She said she followed the Do Not Use order and then the flushing instructions once her area was given the all clear.
“I flushed my lines. There was still an odor. I flushed them again. There was still an odor,” she explained to MetroNews while standing in her kitchen Thursday. “My odor is not like anything like a licorice smell and it never has been. It’s a chemical odor and it will burn your eyes and your throat if you leave this water running for 15 to 20 minutes, tops!”
Seawright said she had to open all her windows and front door to air out the house. Then she called West Virginia American Water. She talked to a customer service rep who walked her through the process again.
“So the first time he had me run it for 30 minutes. That didn’t work. The second time he had me run it for 20 minutes. That didn’t work. The third time he had me connect my water hose [to the sink] and move it out to the front of my yard and run it for an hour.”
It still didn’t solve the problem so the customer service rep for WVAW said he would send out a crew to check on the situation. More than three weeks has gone by and no one has ever knocked on her door or called her back.
Three weeks ago she answered an ad from the Morgantown Dominion Post. An employee with Downstream Strategies, a company that tests for chemicals in the water out of Morgantown, collected water samples from her tap and tested them for MCHM. The results? The MCHM levels came back within their parameters. The representative said more testing could be done but at a price.
“I didn’t poison my water. I’m not paying to have it tested!”
Seawright said she’s at the end of her rope.
“I don’t know what to do from here. I’m kind of at a loss,” she explained.
Her neighbors aren’t experiencing any problems. Seawright wonders if being at the end of the water line could be the cause of her problem. She said someone owes her an explanation and access to clean, usable water.
“I want to be able to use my water and I want to feel safe doing it,” according to Seawright.
MetroNews contacted West Virginia American Water for comment, however, the company not returned the call.