'It Smells Bad, It Tastes Bad': How Americans Stopped Trusting Their Water

"Many residents of Martin County, Kentucky, won’t drink their tap water, a legacy of years of mismanagement"

"Florene Reed always makes sure there’s enough bottled water for her teenaged grandson, even if that means making do with tap water herself that causes a burning sensation in her stomach.

Reed, 63, grew up drinking the crystalline water from wells and local springs dotted throughout the Appalachian mountains in Martin county, but switched to bottled while raising her own family amid safety fears linked to coal mining and mismanagement at the utility.

She’s not alone: 96% of residents rely primarily on bottled water for drinking, and only 56% use tap water for cooking, according to a recent study by the University of Kentucky.

The tap water smells strongly of chlorine, like a swimming pool, and residents frequently report problems with bad taste, discolouration, sediment and irritated or burning skin after bathing."

Nina Lakhani reports for the Guardian September 22, 2020.

Source: Guardian, 09/23/2020