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Erin Discusses Water Crisis on FB
Erin...first of all, thank you for your continued interest in our crisis! I know you are following closely as this unfolds so I won't spend time telling you what you already know or asking "why?". This is a little long but PLEASE READ...
The night we were notified of the spill, I tightly tied plastic bags over all our faucets to keep the odor out and prevent accidental use.
On Day 4, my daughter noticed the bathroom smelled like licorice. Upon inspection, the odor seemed concentrated at the bathroom sink. I found the droplets of water leaking from the faucet had eaten through the plastic bag and there was a white foam seeping from the hole. The odor was over powering!
On days 3, 5 and 6, my son assisted with a watering station at his school. This was not bottled but one of the large tankers. He helped fill containers at the spigot. From the evening of day 3 and for days following, he had flu-like symptoms then noticed a rash on his arm on day 7. I suspected that he had come into contact with something on or in someone's container during the water distribution. We then learned that WVAWC had lied about the origin of the "fresh" water and they had actually filled the tanker at Ground Zero, while unsuspecting people believed they were drinking fresh water. My address went "blue" on Day 8. After repeatedly flushing, the smell was still so awful (smelled like licorice flavoring oil and sewer) that my family had to leave. My son and daughter both have asthma (onset/diagnosis after moving to Charleston) and my daughter was diagnosed in October with a rare condition I believe to be environmental and in December was hospitalized with Sepsis--even the Infectious Disease Doctor could not figure it out so she is very immune compromised and at risk.
When I got home to my empty house that evening, the smell was so bad that immediately, I had a headache, dizziness and rapid heart rate. Within 10 minutes, I was nauseous...this was after having all the windows open for hours on a cold, windy day. We chose not to use the water in any capacity and haven't yet. The following morning, I noticed green spots on my bathtub faucet. Upon closer inspection, found that the water drops from the shower during the flushing process had corroded my faucet. The drain below was actually eaten through.
My husband is a combat-wounded Purple Heart recipient. He had an appointment at the VA the day after the flush and the doctor noted his labored breathing so he listened and his lungs sounded so bad and O2 sat was so low that the doctor placed him on all day, every day doses of Albuterol. He is not asthmatic but stayed in the house to keep flushing then spent that night miserably "up and down" (mostly up) because he couldn't catch his breath. Before the flush, I was using water from a natural spring that runs through my property by boiling and filtering it, to wash dishes and take "make-shift" showers. Now, because of all the outdoor flushing, my water-source smells like licorice and I know is contaminated if not directly, by leeching in the soil. I guess my question for you is "what now?"
I know that's really broad but I have a sick husband, son and I have felt really bad since working 2 blocks from Ground Zero on the day of the leak. I have a daughter who now has to have constant care as a result of her illness. I can't use the water in my house and my fresh water source is contaminated. WVAWC intends to "cut off" distribution sites for water and I can't afford to keep buying it (and all the other "extras" I've had to buy). I had to take more than 50% cut in salary to take a job with fewer hours and closer to home to care for my daughter. Again, I ask...what now???