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Fort Hill Family Still Concerned About Water

Reported: Jan. 27, 2014 10:47 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 27, 2014 10:58 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W. Va. (Kera Mashek) The latest testing results from West Virginia American Water show non-detectable levels of MCHM in 85 percent of the water lines impacted by this month's chemical spill. People continue to say the water is full of sediment and has that very strong smell of licorice.

West Virginia American Water's been saying for two weeks now that the water's safe to drink, bathe, cook with, and you name it. But for some families in Charleston's Fort Hill area, it's not that simple. After repeated flushing, the water is still discolored and reeks of licorice, for those affected, it leaves little confidence to use what's coming from the tap.

When Jason Jean turns on his faucet...

"It still smells like it happened yesterday here at our house, and we're sick of the odor in the water. We're sick of living like we're living. And it really feels like there's nobody taking charge of this thing. There's no leadership, and that's what really scares me about the situation," said Jean.

Jason and his wife Andrea also have three kids under the age of 10. Like a lot of parents, they put their children's safety first. They've flushed every household faucet five times now, but it's still off color and has an overbearing licorice smell.. So the Jeans are not willing to take any chances by using the water...

"In our opinion, we don't think the water is safe. Your mind says if you smell that chemical in the water, then it's present," Jean said.

The Jean family budget's taken a serious hit, since bottled water is all they use now, and not just for drinking. They wash dishes and cook only with store-bought water, and they're even using an improvised camping shower to get clean

Eyewitness News asked, "Have you sat down and done the math of what you've spent in the last three weeks?"

"I really am scared to do that! Honestly I do not want to think about it right now. We're just hoping that we're going to wake up one morning and the smell's going to be gone, and we're going to feel safe again here in the Fort Hill area," said Jean.

The Jeans also wonder if any relief will pour out to help families like them who've doled out big bucks to get water during this crisis, but more than anything, they just want the problem completely fixed and for measures to be put in place so something like this never happens again.

West Virginia American Water has told the Jean family the Fort Hill area has a lot of dead ends in the water lines, making it more difficult to flush the system. But the company plans to continue flushing and testing until 100 percent of its network shows no detectable levels of the leaked chemicals.



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