CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia American Water pulled its bulk water tankers out of service in Kanawha County Thursday evening, after complaints that the water being distributed to residents had the same odor as the chemical-tainted water from last week's Freedom Industries spill into the Elk River.
Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Sayre said complaints began coming in late Thursday afternoon about the now-familiar licorice odor in water given out at the Crossings Mall in Elkview and at Riverside High School.
"We were getting conflicting information as to where [those tankers] were filled," Sayre said Thursday evening. "We wanted to clear that up."
According to Sayre, county officials originally were told the tankers were being filled "off site, out of Charleston." After hearing complaints, though, they checked again with West Virginia American Water officials, who told them to take the tankers out of circulation, Sayre said.
Water company spokeswoman Laura Jordan said the tankers had been filled near the plant after zero levels of the chemical "Crude MCHM" were recorded. "But to avoid any concerns," she said, "just to reassure our customers, we're filling up the tankers from another system."
Jordan referred to the Wednesday night recommendation from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that pregnant women not drink the water, and said that had made people more nervous.
"We understand that people are a little sensitive, especially with that," she said. "We don't want to add to it."
Jordan said the bulk water distribution, with water from outside the tainted Charleston system, should be ready by Friday morning to resume at Crossings Mall and Riverside High.