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.

bubble graphic

10

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Hillboy

    Even though it doesn't seem like it would be related to the MCHM spill, it could be indirectly related. During the time when people were told not to use the water, the water that sat in the pipes would have sat stagnant and lost any residual chlorine content, which could have allowed bacteria to increase. (Even though drinking water is chlorinated it is never totally sterile.) A stagnant period followed by the period of flushing could have resulted in stirring up and dislodging some nasty stuff with a bad odor that wasn't from MCHM. That's why the media showed pictures of nasty looking water coming from people's faucets even though MCHM is colorless. I'm not sure why her water has the chemical odor but I wouldn't automatically assume this woman is not telling the truth or that it is totally unrelated to the spill.

  • Poca J

    Sounds like paranoia. They came and tested the water and the lines were within the parameters. Why would they need to test again. Neighbors aren't having any problems. I am sure the water company will go back down and test it again.

  • Big Larry

    This woman is a liar.

    • Mike

      Which must mean you know her personally. to make a statement like that. Back up your comment, or quit attacking her.

  • Mike

    The water company needs to get the heck out there to her home. Inexcusable not to respond. Believe me, I would have gotten their attention by now if I had to go to the water company President's home.

    • The bookman

      WVAW would just deny it is related to MCHM based on testing and the fact other customers in the area aren't experiencing the same problem. Send Dr. Gupta over to investigate the situation. Or maybe Metronews could pay for additional testing since they are so interested in what otherwise would appear to be unrelated to the spill.

      • Mike

        It could be unrelated to MCHM, and sounds probable. But the water company should still take the time to see what the problem is, as they should under any normal circumstance. For public PR reasons, if for nothing else.

        • The bookman

          Good point, but still don't see them helping her...she obviously has a problem with her water, but factually can't see how it is MCHM related. If Metronews is going to create more hype, then let them pay to have her water thoroughly tested. Sad story.

          • Walsingham

            When we have a water outage people in my neighborhood have a difficult time getting WVAW to come out. You have to wait on "hold" for 20 minutes to talk to someone in a call center in Minnesota. The first thing they tell you is that it's a problem with your points or ask if your behind on my bill. They should jut take our word that out water is off. It takes multiple calls from multiple neighbors to get them to physically come on site.

  • william

    Just make a lot of KOOL-AID