A stunning number of North Alabama residents have just been told that the water coming out of their taps may not be safe to drink. And what’s worse is that it may not be safe to drink until September!
That warning isn’t coming from environmental groups or activists, it is coming from the water authority itself.
The West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority provides water for 100,000 people living in Lawrence and Morgan counties in North Alabama and until recently, it provided water to some residents in Vinemont in Cullman County.
So what’s in the water? Potentially hazardous levels of PFOA and PFOS. Those are chemicals that were made by 3M and other companies and were used to make products such as non-stick cookware. 3M and the other companies have plants along the Tennessee River, which is where the water authority gets its water.
The EPA says that the chemicals have been linked to cancer, liver problems, and developmental problems. Pregnant women and infants drinking formula mixed with tap water are particularly at risk for problems.
The chemicals can’t be boiled out of the water and regular filters you might have in your kitchen won’t make a difference. The water authority is spending millions of dollars to install massive filters to get the chemicals out of the water, but those filters won’t be in place for months. In the meantime, the recommendation is to simply find something else to drink or cook with.
All over Alabama you can still find fresh problems because of the state’s heavy industries and it’s our state’s residents who pay the price.
At Gathings Law we have dealt with many situations over the years involving chemicals in water, pollutants in the air, or toxins in the ground. They become major problems for people living in and around those areas because through no fault of their own, they find themselves facing problems affecting their health, their livelihood, or even their finances. Home values may decrease, health costs may increase, and people are stuck with worries about potential future health problems.
In this situation, the water authority has been trying to get 3M to get the chemicals out of the water but so far, 3M has refused and still says that its actions are “appropriate.”
Gathings Law has years of experience representing Alabama families against companies that refuse to take responsibility for the contamination they cause in our communities. If we can help you, call us today at (205) 322-1201 or visit our contact page.
You can read more about the problems facing the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority and the people living in that area by reading this article on al.com.