WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr

Water Survey Results Released

Reported: May. 12, 2014 11:24 PM EDT
Updated: May. 13, 2014 7:02 PM EDT

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) - Results have been released from a study following the West Virginia water crisis.

The study conducted in Kanawha County indicated confidence in the safety of West Virginia American Water plunged from 90 percent to about a third after MCHM contaminated the water supply.

The survey also shows that most learned about the water crisis the day it happened, but about 20 percent didn't find out until the day after or later. Most people heard about the crisis from TV or radio, then by word of mouth. About 10 percent learned from that odor in the water or air. And 35 percent of the county only had a gallon of bottled water on hand when the crisis hit.

There was a public meeting Monday night at the University Of Charleston about the results.

"And you have to take the bad perception of the water and make it the best water," said Charleston Mayor Danny Jones as he spoke to the crowd.

Jones said it’s a lofty goal, and it’s still a major struggle to get past the water crisis.

"Our water is as clean as any other water in the country now,” Jones said. “But there's a perception problem out there."

And it's not just outside of West Virginia's borders. Here at home, there are still plenty of non-believers, such as Joe Merchant of South Charleston.

Eyewitness News asked Merchant if he is still not convinced about the safety of the water.

“Well, I think it's at least back to, it's probably as safe as it was, before Jan. 9th, but I'm not convinced it's necessarily safe, so I think they've gotten back to that point," he said.

And since the water crisis, he has stocked up on supplies.

"We've got a couple cases of water at all times,” Merchant said. “We won't use the water here again.”

Merchant said his household is using the tap water, but not for drinking or cooking.

Dr. Rahul Gupta of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said eight out of 10 people learned about the chemical spill the same day it happened. But social media played a surprisingly low role in getting the word out.

Merchant said he believes officials "should have probably been out notifying people in person, door to door. I think it was that important."

Eyewitness News asked Sue Davis of Institute what surprised her the most in all the findings.

“That so many persons did not find it necessary to go to the hospital," she said.

More than 60 percent of the people surveyed claimed they felt sick, but not enough to seek treatment. Davis said she still struggles with several illness, which she said were caused by exposure to MCHM.

"Because you can't breathe,” she said. “You're coughing, the phlegm is terrible, it's just a bad situation."

Davis testified at the congressional hearing early on, and told Jeff McIntyre at West Virginia American Water she has lost faith.

"I told Mr. McIntyre personally, you'll never have my confidence with the water again," she said.

The phone survey also showed a lot of residents violated the do-not-use-order. At least 80 percent of people surveyed bathed or showered with the water. About 40 percent drank it, but only 27 percent gave it to their pets.

Battling Meth At The Point Of Sale
Jul. 22, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
Deputies spent hours investigating an abandoned meth ...
Full News Story and Video

Huntington Man Arrested for Allegedly Soliciting a Minor Online
Jul. 22, 2014 10:44 PM EDT
Police arrested a man Tuesday afternoon, for allegedly ...
Full News Story

Mason Co. Case Serves As Important Reminder On Child Nutrition Needs
Jul. 22, 2014 10:30 PM EDT
The investigation continues into a disturbing case ...
Full News Story and Video

News Community Responds To Child Neglect Case
Jul. 22, 2014 9:35 PM EDT
News Bus Company Decision Nails The Coffin Shut On Saturday Event
Jul. 22, 2014 7:36 PM EDT
News Freedom Bankruptcy Deal On Hold
Jul. 22, 2014 6:10 PM EDT
News Milton Seeing Economic Boom
Jul. 22, 2014 5:49 PM EDT
News Dirty Girl Mud Run For Charleston Officially Canceled
Jul. 22, 2014 5:42 PM EDT
News Fayette County Man Killed After Pinned Under Truck
Jul. 22, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
News The Greenbrier Releases Details For Fans Interested In Attending New Orleans Saints' Practices, Picnic
Jul. 22, 2014 8:12 PM EDT
News Medicare Workshop Offers Information, Expert Consultation
Jul. 22, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News MU To Paint The Capital City Green
Jul. 22, 2014 4:07 PM EDT
News Multifest Announces Schedule For 2014
Jul. 22, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Pregnant Teen Strangled, Man Decapitated In Online Sex Case
Jul. 22, 2014 3:06 PM EDT
News Milton Police Seek Information On Telephone Cable Theft
Jul. 22, 2014 2:28 PM EDT
News Meningitis Diagnosis Prompted WV Clinic Probe
Jul. 22, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
News Mountaineers To Face Tennessee In Football In 2018
Jul. 22, 2014 1:55 PM EDT
News Surveillance Photos Released In South Charleston Robbery
Jul. 22, 2014 12:53 PM EDT
News WVU Baseball Player Signs With Pro Team
Jul. 22, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
News One Man Injured In East End Shooting
Jul. 22, 2014 6:16 PM EDT
News Well-Being Of WV Children Improves; State Ranks 37th
Jul. 22, 2014 11:32 AM EDT
News Independent Ed Rabel To Seek Congressional Seat
Jul. 22, 2014 11:17 AM EDT
News Wayne County Schools Names Superintendent
Jul. 22, 2014 1:22 PM EDT
News Annual River Float Expected To Make Big Splash Saturday
Jul. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EDT
News Trailer Owner Finds Abandoned Meth Lab Near Backyard
Jul. 22, 2014 10:25 AM EDT
News WV Inmate Who Escaped In May Captured In VA
Jul. 22, 2014 9:16 AM EDT
News Former Mercer County Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sex Charges
Jul. 22, 2014 9:22 AM EDT
News Freedom Industries In Bankruptcy Court Tuesday
Jul. 22, 2014 7:54 AM EDT
News Baby Dies From Malnutrition After Police Say Parents Used WIC Money To Buy Drugs
Jul. 21, 2014 11:53 PM EDT
News Women Express Outrage Over Dirty Girl Mud Run Flap
Jul. 22, 2014 7:44 AM EDT
News Shoppers Travel Across Counties To Shop At Newly Expanded Kroger
Jul. 22, 2014 12:56 PM EDT
News Livestock Competition Big Part Of Cabell County Fair
Jul. 22, 2014 11:06 AM EDT
News Local Sporting Goods Store Thriving
Jul. 22, 2014 1:18 PM EDT

Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
W.Va. gas price tumble

West Virginia gas prices are down about a nickel a gallon.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Interstate closes after bee-carrying truck crashes

Police say a semi flat-bed truck hauling beehives has crashed, causing eastbound Interstate 24 to close near the Kentucky-Tennessee state line at Clarksville, Tennessee.
Full Story

Ohio News
Meningitis diagnosis prompted W.Va. clinic probe

A health official says an investigation that found syringes were being reused at a West Virginia pain management clinic was triggered after a patient developed bacterial meningitis.
Full Story

Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site

Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.