|From Album 5|
Many West Virginians have not been using their water since a massive chemical spill tainted their water last month. Despite this, some say their water bills are outrageously high.
The bills, according to the West Virginia Citizen Action Group, are worth more than the credits that West Virginia American Water has offered to people who had to flush their water systems several time since 10,000 gallons of a chemical called Crude MCHM (and potential a few other chemicals) leaked into the Elk River. During those flushes, customers leave their water on for 25 minutes, a process that WVAM says should use a maximum of 500 gallons of water. WVAM has promised a 1,000-gallon credit for residents on their water bills, and a 2,000-gallon credit for small businesses.
But many customers have not yet seen that credit on their bills. The credits, according to WVAM President Jeff McIntyre, are supposed to be included on bills that were sent out Friday.
Charleston resident Patrick S. Lawson Sr., however, sent ThinkProgress a bill he received Friday, with no credit to be found. The bill also showed a meter reading saying he used 600 gallons of water since Jan. 30, which Lawson said is untrue. He has not flushed his water since the 30th, nor has he been drinking or cooking with it. He has limited his showers to twice a week, has done two loads of laundry, and has run his dishwasher twice.
That's one hell of an invisible hand. Literally.