Don’t Drink The (Bottled) Water?

Authorities say this is unrelated to the leak of Crude MCHM from the Freedom Industries facility, but that’s not very reassuring.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department has halted the distribution of a specific brand of bottled water in three Kanawha County schools after it was found to have a “strong odor” and “a problem with the taste,” according to a news release from the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

The smell and taste issues are not related to the chemical Crude MCHM, which contaminated the region’s drinking water. The smell was described as “musty,” and there was no mention of licorice, the smell associated with the coal-cleaning chemical.

The good news is the county has still has enough bottled water to supply to school children, and it’s possible the strong taste and odor of this particular water is harmless, but you can’t blame the locals for being wary of it.

Crude MCHM was detected in water fountains at one Kanawha County school on Monday. The contaminated Ice Mountain brand bottled water was distributed at Sharon Dawes Elementary school, John Adams Middle school, and Andrew Jackson Middle school in Kanawha County.

If this continues for much longer local schools may need stress counselors in addition to fresh water.

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  • muselet

    My guess is that someone at the Ice Mountain bottling plant screwed up when the mineral content was adjusted (for consistent flavor, this is done with all bottled spring waters), or that this particular lot was (slightly) contaminated with mold. Regardless of whether the water’s safe to drink—my money says it is—this is embarrassing for Nestlé.

    … you can’t blame the locals for being wary of it.

    Absolutely. West Virginians are likely to be very aware of their drinking water for a good long while. It remains to be seen whether their elected officials will share that concern.

    –alopecia

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      I would be afraid to let my son out of my sight….He’s 3 and wouldn’t think twice about taking a drink out of a fountain…he’d rely on the adults around him and clearly some of the adults in the state gubmint of West Virginy ain’t too discriminating. Not accusing school officials of not protecting kids, but if I was a parent there, my toddler wouldn’t be going anywhere without me until I felt it was safe.

      • muselet

        That’s understandable. Since they’re distributing bottled water, I assume school officials have physically prevented access to the drinking fountains, but if I were a parent I’d take a good, hard look to make sure.

        The real test will be how West Virginians behave six months after the drinking water no longer stinks or makes people sick.

        (At any moment, I expect Righties to try to hand-wave away the Crude MCHM contamination of the water supply because this one lot of bottled water that doesn’t smell or taste right was provided by FEMA.)

        –alopecia

        • Ned F

          They’ll wave it away because the coal industry owns the state and they’re afraid the coal companies will leave and take the jobs with them if they complain.