CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Nearly five weeks after the chemical spill into the Elk River that contaminated the water for 100,000 West Virginia American Water customers and people are still relying on water trucked in from other areas.
Charleston resident Henry George filled up 10 one-gallon jugs of water at a water distribution site at the Patrick Street Plaza in Charleston Tuesday morning.
“This is actually an opportunity to get a lot of water to bring in the house,” he explained.
George and his family have been using bottled water since the Do Not Use order went into place Jan. 9 and he’s only the using tap water for certain purposes.
“We’ll wash with the tap water. We’ll wash clothes. We might even wash dishes but it’s not a factor of using our water for cooking or drinking,” George said.
And he’s not alone. In a half-hour period, nearly two dozen people showed up to fill jugs, jars and just about any container they had with potable water, at the Patrick Street site.
The most common reason for filling up, at the buffalo, WVAW customers still have doubts about their tap water. “I’m not sure that it’s safe,” said one man.
Ebony Moore of Charleston has two teens. She said she’s been filling up a five-gallon container several times a week.
“I don’t totally feel safe enough to drink [the tap water] or use it for consumption,” she explained.
As for how long she’ll wait until she uses the tap water again, she said it’s going to be a very long time.
“I’d just assume to be safe than sorry and to use the water they’re providing [at the distribution sites] for us.”