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Mayor wants Charleston to conduct in-home tests

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Hoping to restore confidence in the safety of the water supply, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones plans to ask city council to fund testing of tap water for homes and some businesses in the city.

Jones told the Daily Mail Monday he would ask council members at Tuesday’s meeting to allow him to line up funding and experts to conduct the tests.

Many remain wary of tap water more than a month after crude MCHM and PPH leaked from a Freedom Industries storage tank and into the Elk River just above West Virginia American Water Co.’s main intake. The leak prompted a do-not-use order for more than 300,000 people in nine counties.

Requests for bottled and bulk water remain after the Jan. 9 incident.

“We’re going to have to devote some resources to this to prove that our water’s OK,” Jones said. “We’re going to have to be able to prove to people that our brand is OK and to do that we’re going to have to test some of this water.”

Jones’ plan is to test a sample of homes in each of the city’s 21 wards. Hotels would also be allowed to request testing.

Schools fall under the jurisdiction of the Kanawha County Board of Education and will not be tested with city funds, Jones said.

Grandview Elementary School in North Charleston dismissed early as a precaution Monday after a slight licorice odor was reported and two school employees complained of related symptoms, according to a statement from Ron Duerring, superintendent of Kanawha County Schools.

No students were affected.

A Rapid Response Team, made up of individuals from the school system, National Guard, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, state Department of Environmental Protection, and the county Emergency Operations Center, went to the Woodward Drive school Monday to re-flush and re-test the water…

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