Preserving the Environment

Can Rain Solve West Virginia’s Tap Water Problem?

February 28, 2014
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Can Rain Solve West Virginia’s Tap Water Problem?
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The toxic chemical spill has left residents turning to a planet-friendly source of fresh water.

West Virginia’s toxic chemical spill last month left hundreds of thousands without clean water for weeks. Although state officials declared that the tap water is once again usable, residents are understandably wary of contaminants. There’s still the bottled water option but that comes with an economic and environmental price. In, Kanawha Valley, however, some residents have come up with a cost-and-environmentally friendly solution: rainwater.

“It’s sort of primitive,” Charleston resident Lori Magana told the Charleston Daily Mail. “The rain barrel is hooked up to my downspout and it has a faucet. After many trials, I figured out the best way to take a seven-gallon jug from Walmart and carry it inside.”

MORE: Just As This West Virginia Town Ran Out of Clean Water, Something Miraculous Happened

Magana’s part of the Facebook group Charleston Rain Catchers, that now has more than 200 members and counting. The group shares tips the best ways to harvest rain water, and advice like what’s the best and most affordable rain receptacles (pickle or soy sauce barrels). The wall is also updated with information on often free rainwater harvesting workshops. These West Virginians are showing that even during environmental disasters, a sustainable solution can be as easy as looking to the sky.

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