Nightly News   |  January 14, 2014

Families Fearful of W.Va. Water

Although the taps are back on in Charleston, W.Va., some residents continue to use bottled water and paper plates in order to avoid the foul-smelling tap water flushing out of local faucets.

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>>> in west virginia tonight, the water is back on and thousands of homes and businesses after days of going without following the chemical spill , officials there continue to insist to the public that it's safe, but a lot of families are understandably refusing to go anywhere near it. our chief environmental affairs correspondent anne thompson joins us again tonight from charlest charleston, west virginia . ann, good evening.

>> good evening, brian, there is plenty of skepticism here as residents confront water that doesn't look or smell right. and investigators dig for the reasons behind the chemical spill . freedom industries president gary southern was on site today but still not talking to the media. as crews worked to clean up the chemical spill that tainted charleston's water. a u.s. chemical safety board investigators were also on hand.

>> we need to understand why this occurred. was it corrosion or some other fault that can youed.

>> three years aing, the chemical safety board require they create a hazardous explosion program. it never happened. 24 hours after christie goldman started flushing her tap, she's still using bottled water and feeding her kids on paper plates.

>> how worried are you about the water?

>> well, i'm worried when you smell the with water.

>> it's most pungent in the shower.

>> just like gas has a smell and you know it's there, you stay away, this has a smell.

>> reporter: others report discolored water. the company says that's due to sediment in the pipes not the smell. people feel like a bunch of lab rats .

>> why was there so little known about this chemical that we know poses such a threat to our drinking water source.

>> consumer advocate erin brockovich met with 100 residents last night.

>> at the end of the day , it's disheartening and frustrating and people are still left with a lot of unanswered questions s and a whole lot of concerns.

>> tonight it will close its water intake valves on the ohio river , as the chemical plooum passes.

>> it's important for citizens to know that our water is safe, we're taking all necessary precautions to keep it safe.

>> now, as the chemical heads down river, is dissipating, but the fear isn't, as cincinnati and now louisville monitor for any potential trouble. brian?

>> anne thompson in west virginia again for us tonight. ann,