Roughly 300,000 residents of West Virginia are waterless for the third day in a row after a chemical spill mucked up their tap water.
Memo to the waterless West Virginians: don’t drink the water, don’t brush your teeth with the water, don’t shower in the water, don’t even look at the water.
State officials are working to restore water supplies after the contamination but it will take at least several more days to properly test the water to make sure it is safe for consumption. Meanwhile, West Virginia is at a standstill. The chemical spill has resulted in restaurants, schools, and businesses all being shutdown in Charleston, the state capital.
The incident, which has been declared a disaster by the federal government and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, occurred when a chemical facility in West Virginia spilled 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol through a one-inch hole in a tank last week. Turns out the above-ground chemical storage unit had not been visited by environmental inspectors since 1991. Oops! Where’s Erin Brockovich when you need her?
The tap waterless residents have been told to use bottled water to wash hands, brush teeth and even take showers. Taking a shower with a bottle of Evian seems like a pain in the ass, but symptoms for those who choose to drink the water include severe burning in throat, severe eye irritation, non-stop vomiting, trouble breathing or severe skin irritation such as skin blistering – so… the Evian shower doesn’t seem so bad now. Actually, it seems kind of nice.
But worse than painful skin blisters and tedious water bottle showers is the smell. The contaminated water is reportedly giving off a licorice-like smell in the towns – and not the delicious red licorice kind of smell either. Instead, residents must endure the suffocating smell of BLACK LICORICE while they ration off their last remaining water bottles.