CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As day six of the West Virginia water crisis turns to day seven, only 40,000 of the 100,000 West Virginia American Water customers affected by Thursday's chemical leak have been given the green light to flush their home plumbing and use their water.
Even as areas are given the green light, some residents are still leery of the safety of the water coming into their homes.
Melenie Brown had just moved from Boston to Charleston's West Side last Wednesday, a day before the chemical leak rendered the tap water flowing to 15 percent of all West Virginians unsafe to use.
"I just came from Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday," Brown said. "I came and took a shower, and then I woke up the next morning and we had no water."
Water on Charleston's West Side was deemed safe about 9 p.m. Monday night, but Brown was still skeptical.
"I don't feel safe," she said.
"Today, maybe tomorrow, I will. I know they called in people to test it, the federal government and all that stuff, but still, we have to live here. If we do take a shower, we don't know what the effects will be 20 years from now. It's just kind of discouraging. They say, 'It's fixed. It's fine.' But is it really?"
Carolee and Jimmy Higginbotham live in North Charleston, about a mile from the Freedom Industries plant that leaked crude MCHM, a chemical used in coal preparation, into the Elk River. They haven't had their water service restored yet, but say they'll be cautious with the water when it is restored.
"I'm not gonna drink it for a while," Carolee said. "I might - I need to take a shower, let's put it that way. But I don't think I'll drink it for a while."
Restoration of water to customers has been a shaky process so far. Only about 13,000 customers were given the green light to use their tap water Tuesday, bringing the total number of customers cleared to use water to 39,000.