Absence of Drinking Water Safety Data Inside West Virginia Homes: Time to Act

Dear West Virginia:


A public donation site has been setup to help those affected by the West Virginia drinking water contamination incident. Any donation would be used to conduct drinking water sampling –inside– affected homes and data would be provided to the public. Please see the site link below. Any donation ($1 or more) is appreciated. – Sincerely, Andy Whelton, Ph.D.

There continues to be a complete lack of interest by any official to conduct inside the house drinking water testing, despite the tap water being deemed safe to drink from fire hydrant and government buildings testing. Still today, water is not safe for pregnant women and children under 3 years old. Some people who have contacted me have family members who were admitted to the hospital caused by inhalation exposures. Others have planned water births and now do not know what to do. As a parent, husband, and son, I cannot fathom the stress that must be going through these individuals lives because of the incident. I am sincerely sorry that the residents of West Virginia were affected by this incident. More information is needed to help those affected.

Over the past two weeks I have been speaking with government agencies and nonprofit organizations in an effort to find funding to support continued in-home drinking water testing. As you know, many people still refuse to drink the tap water, and some outright refuse to use the water for any purpose. No organization has provided us funding (or to my knowledge, any other organization) to conduct the necessary in-home testing. It seems the people who are being affected and their family and friends are primarily the only people who seem to be concerned anymore. 

Having been in the Charleston area last week and seen firsthand the impact this event had on people of all socioeconomic levels, bathed in the water myself (cold only), and failure of responders to provide –inside the home– drinking water testing, we have setup a public donation site.

Click here to donate: Help Those Still Affected by the West Virginia Drinking Water Crisis

Donations are Tax Deductible 501c-3 through Microryza to the Univ. South Alabama

This site enables anyone to donate any amount of money to help us return to West Virginia and continue drinking water sampling for the public. All funding will go directly towards paying the students, supplies, and travel costs. A detailed budget is supplied. I will work for free. People outside West Virginia can use this site as a mechanism to help provide West Virginian’s the drinking water testing data they are demanding, but not receiving. Any funds raised in excess of the target level will be used to expand drinking water testing for affected homes.


Graduate student Lakia McMillan is collecting a drinking water sample  in Elk View, West Virginia January 17, 2014. After sampling, the team helped the homeowner flush her plumbing system.

Results of this project can also be used by officials to respond to any future incident and try to prevent something like what occurred in West Virginia from ever happening again.

In closing, results of our engineering and science team’s drinking water testing conducted last week –inside houses– will be posted soon. While onsite, we visited several houses, helped homeowners flush, and collected drinking water samples. This effort was completely unfunded (no agenda). Our only purpose was to help those affected and provide them the drinking water testing data they are demanding, but are not receiving.


Graduate students Jeff Gill and Matt Connell conduct drinking water sampling in Cross Lanes, West Virginia January 18, 2014.

Thank you in advance for reading this message.

Sincerely, Andy Whelton, Ph.D.

Environmental Engineering Professor, University of South Alabama

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5 Responses to Absence of Drinking Water Safety Data Inside West Virginia Homes: Time to Act

  1. Rose Namay says:

    I wonder if you’d test my water next time you are up here? XXXX Quarrier St. Charleston, WV. God Bless you and your team for trying to help us. Companies have treated WV as a colony in a third world country throughout our history, but this is beyond the pale! Again, much appreciation for the scientific and unbiased testing and explanations. Best regards, tina Rose Namay

  2. Paul Anteman says:

    Thank you for testing are water, and thank you for coming to West Virginia on your own, you will be in my prays, thank you again.

  3. Linda Sodaro says:

    I have two empty bedrooms in South Charleston if that would help you offset costs while you are here.

  4. Cheryl Judy says:

    Thank you for testing our water in West Virginia! I would love for my water to tested as soon as possible. My major concern is the potential health problems that these chemicals will have on my and others in the future. I realize that living in this area presented it’s own health risks before this disaster but now it has to be worse. Please continue to monitor the situation here.

    I do have one question though. What is the cost of having water tested?

    Thank you, once again,

  5. april keating says:

    Thank you, Andy!

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