Governor gives all-clear for drinking water across Lawrence, Morgan counties

Published: Jun. 23, 2016 at 7:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2016 at 4:36 PM CDT
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(Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF)

HILLSBORO, AL (WAFF) - Governor Bentley announced on Thursday that no water systems in Alabama are currently affected by the Environmental Protection Agency final health advisory.

Earlier in the week, West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority officials announced they may lift their water advisory depending on the lab results.

Right now, WMEL is paying Decatur Utilities to dilute the problem.

An attorney representing WMEL in its lawsuit against 3M, Daikin and others for dumping those chemicals into the river said until WMEL builds a reverse osmosis plant, other measures are temporary fixes at best.

Carl Cole said customers shouldn't have to cover the cost up front, but they likely will.

"Ultimately, that comes down to these corporate polluters that put it in the water. At the end of the day, that's who needs to foot the bill, not the rate payers. But until they decide to step up and take responsibility for what they've done, that's going to fall on the backs of the rate payers," Cole said.

Some residents still don't trust the water coming out of their taps.

MORE: Customers advised to not drink West Morgan-East Lawrence water

Hillsboro resident Whitney Dover said her kids health problems seemed to fade when the advisory went into effect, something she believes is no coincidence.

"I have not been to any doctor office in a month. That's a record," Dover said.

Dover and her husband have three boys. One is nearly six-years-old, another is nearly four-years-old, and the youngest is 18-months-old. She said they always seemed to be fighting some sort of ailment, but that changed since her family stopped drinking their tap water.

"About every week, I was in the doctor's office with one kid, if not all three. They've had strep throat, ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia," Dover said.

She said it's been difficult, at times costly, to get water.

"I've had to empty out milk jugs, save those, go to my mom's house in Decatur and use her water. And a lady from her church donated 48 gallons of water to me. I've had to buy bottled water every day or every other day, and it get's expensive," she said.

Dover said they're even using water outside of West Morgan East Lawrence Water for their fish. She said her family will not drink what they believe is tainted water. Even with the advisory lifted, that belief hasn't changed.

"That's great!" Dover said mockingly. "But I'm still not going to drink it. I think a bunch of people would be the same way."

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