Some People in Putnam County Told to Stop Using Water Again

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UPDATE 1/17/14 @ 7:40 p.m.
BUFFALO, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- Some people in Putnam County who may have started using their water again have been told to stop.

West Virginia American Water found split results there, prompting a new warning for the Buffalo, Fraziers Bottom and Pliny areas.

Randy Noffsinger is filling up on water in Buffalo.

It's a routine he hoped to let go of by now, but his tap water still isn't good.

"I tried it this morning before daylight and it was undrinkable," said Noffsinger.

As he gets each jug filled, the frustration is growing. His house is once again under the water ban.

"Angry, I assume everyone else has too," said Noffsinger.

Many people shared the same concern at the Buffalo distribution center.

"I don't trust the water, I'm not going to drink the water, and we may not even bathe in it, right now I'm getting 35 gallons of water for us to drink," said Gregg Anthony.

"I'm not going to drink it just yet, because I still have the smell to it," said Faye Buckelew.

Buffalo's mayor said they have about four tractor trailers filled with bottled water.

On the other side, there's a 6,000 gallon tanker filled with water from FEMA.

"Once they lifted it, we went back to using it and now they've pulled it on us again, I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens," said Buffalo Mayor, Gary Tucker.

But every day without clean, running water is another day without normal life. It's a compromise many people are tired of making.

"It's catastrophe, it really is, I mean, you know, no more showers, you have to sponge bathe yourself," said Anthony.

For now, people like Noffsinger, said they're waiting for the water to be safe and doing what they can to make it work.

Kids in Buffalo were back in class Friday morning, but very briefly.

"We got up and sent our kids out to school, and within the hour, we had to come pick them up," parent Linda Morris said.

We reached out to West Virginia American Water for comment about the warning. Those calls were not returned.

Putnam County's Sheriff said he has growing concerns about samples his department took in some parts of the county.

He said they were discolored and had a strong odor.

Volunteers at the Buffalo water distribution center said they'll keep handing out water until 8 p.m. Friday. They plan to start again at 8 a.m. Saturday.

ORIGINAL STORY 1/17/14 @ 7:12 a.m.
BUFFALO, W.Va. (WSAZ) – West Virginia American Water says customers in the town of Buffalo, Fraziers Bottom and Pliny are advised to not drink and have limited contact with their water.

New water sampling results indicate additional flushing and sampling is required in this area until water quality sampling data can be determined.

WVAW says while investigating a customer complaint, new sample results indicated a split sample result with one reading above 1 ppm and one reading below 1 ppm at a fire hydrant on a dead-end water main in Buffalo.

To exercise the utmost caution, crews have conducted additional flushing in the area and will analyze additional samples collected before this notice can be lifted.

Putnam County Schools dismissed students at 9 a.m. from Buffalo Elementary and Buffalo High School due to this order.

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