WEST VIRGINIA: Chemicals Contaminating Water


(CNN) — West Virginia’s water crisis won’t end any time soon, officials said Saturday.

Testing must be completed to determine whether chemicals from a leak are still contaminating the water system in nine counties in the southwest section of the state, West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre told reporters Saturday. That means the do-not-use order issued Thursday won’t be lifted for days, he said.

Some 300,000 West Virginia residents, in the meantime, still won’t be able to use tap water to wash hands, brush teeth or take showers. They’re being urged to watch for symptoms of exposure to the chemical, such as skin irritation, nausea, vomiting and wheezing.

Homeland Security is trucking in 16 tractor-trailer loads of bottled water to help.

The water restrictions were imposed Thursday when it was discovered about 7,500 gallons of a chemical used to clean coal — 4-methylcyclohexane methanol — had leaked out of…

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