Discolored water during flushing process alarms residents - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Discolored water during flushing process alarms residents

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WINFIELD, WV -

Thousands of residents across the nine affected counties anxiously await the return of safe running water, but some residents who have started the flushing process are not so sure they want to use the water now that it's back.

Melinda Starcher lives in Winfield, WV.  This morning she started the flushing process.  She says with a laugh, "your first reaction is yuck and then jokingly drink it I dare you"!

The Starcher family flushed hot water for 45 minutes and cold water for 30 minutes and then repeated the process.  Starcher says they decided to do the extended time just to be safe because this is the water that her family uses to bathe and brush their teeth with.  She hopes that whatever in is in the system will be completely gone from the extra flushing.

Once Starcher started the flushing, she discovered an unwanted surprise.  She says about 5-10 minutes into the hot water flushing she saw a lot of brown.

Even though many residents have been given the OK to use the water, some are still skeptical.  Laura Jordan with West Virginia American Water says discolored water during the flushing process can actually be normal.  Jordan says, "we want people to understand that it's not an outside contaminate that has entered the system".  She explains it's sediment that's built up in your pipes over time.

Jordan has said, "there is no indication to us that it (the discoloration) has anything to do with this particular chemical incident because it was actually a colorless chemical".  That explanation, however, doesn't keep people from worrying.  Starcher says, "you just can't help but wonder what is really in this water".

With a lot of unanswered questions, some residents will not be using the water any time soon.  Starcher says in about 2-3 weeks she will probably give in and use the water, but she wants to wait until the entire ban is lifted and see if any additional problems arise.