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"I Still Won't Drink The Water!" Despite CDC Saying It's Safe

Reported: Feb. 24, 2014 11:16 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 25, 2014 9:18 AM EST

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) – Despite the CDC now telling us our water is safe, some folks told us it's a little late in the game to make, what sounds like a total turnaround from what we were being told just a few weeks ago.

The biggest hurdle in this water crisis is not what's in the water, rather what's still in the air, a distinct odor of mistrust.

"It was a little confusing to the public and I kind of felt like they were dodging the subject," said Deno Stanley who owns and runs the Adelphia Sports Bar in Charleston.

The CDC had previously been using every other word, but the word safe, to describe our water.

"We simply don't use those words, and I understand you may want somebody to say that, but the water is appropriate for use," said Dr. Tanja Popovic with the CDC, when she was in Charleston, February 5th.

The word appropriate did not exactly instill trust in their findings. The CDC though, now said it’s safe, almost a month later.

"That make you feel any better about serving it to your customers?,” we asked Stanley. “Well, I'll tell you honestly,” said Stanley. “I'm not sure I'll drink tap water in any city any longer and we're currently serving bottled water and will continue to serve bottled water on a permanent basis."

"We're still taking bottled water to her!," said photographer Greg Harkins of H&H Enterprises. He’s still delivering bottled water to his elderly grandmother, who lives in Dunbar. "If it's not good enough for pregnant women, then it's not good for the elderly either," he said.

But the CDC now said, the water is safe for pregnant women as well.

"So do you feel any safer now drinking the water, now that they're saying it?,” we asked. “No,” said Harkins. “At restaurants I still get bottled water."

Ernie Dale is one of the 500-plus tour professionals in town, visiting Charleston right now.

"Did you try any of our tap water since you've been in town?,” we asked Dale. “Sure did,” he said. “And did you smell or taste anything funny?,” we asked. “No,” said Dale. “I brushed my teeth with it, it's fine." Dale said he’s heard of our struggle here, but that did not stop him and hundreds of others from coming to visit our city.

"I have been showering in it, brushing my teeth with it, recently started drinking it again, and it really hasn't affected me, I haven't seen any ill feeling from it," said Jim Strawn, who’s on the Health Board for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. Strawn said we still have a lot of work to do. "I think we're gonna be ok,” he said. “We've gotta move beyond this!"

And even though some restaurants are serving tap water now, Deno Stanley from Adelphia says he would too, if people ask for it, but not without re-stating to them, that it would be “their” personal choice. Another man told u, if he orders soda, he asks for it without ice, because he does not trust even the frozen water yet.

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