CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Weeks have passed since the Centers for Disease Control gave West Virginia American Water Company customers the thumbs up to safely drink from the tap.
Now Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said he wants to make it clear, more than two months after the chemical spill on the Elk River, he believes the water is safe to drink as well.
In fact, he was downing a cup of coffee made with tap water on Wednesday morning during a Charleston- Area Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting. “All of our water has been approved by outside agencies, probably better than it was before the spill,” according to Jones.
But, he said, the word of outsiders just doesn’t cut it with folks in the nine county area impacted by the contaminated water.
“I think our water is cleaner than it has ever been, but we still have to go to non-detect,” said Jones.
That’s why the city will be doing its own water testing and Jones said that will begin in May.
“We want to make sure that when we test this water, it will be at a non-detect level,” stressed the mayor. “I’m not sure we’re there yet.”
In fact, there have been recent complaints by homeowners across the Kanawha Valley that they are still detecting that licorice smell that comes along with MCHM.
Jones said Charleston may just have the cleanest drinking water in the U.S. by the time the city’s water testing comes to an end. “The threshold for us is going to be higher than anybody in the country!”