Dear West Virginia:
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.
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.
Thank you in advance for reading this message.
Sincerely, Andy Whelton, Ph.D.
Environmental Engineering Professor, University of South Alabama