MT. WASHINGTON, KY (WAVE) - A Ft. Hood spokesman tells the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter department the water on post is safe to drink, but may have a strange taste and smell.
The comments came in response to a WAVE 3 Troubleshooter investigation in which a local solider claimed the water at the Texas post is nearly undrinkable. His wife asked the Louisville Water Company to donate bottled water to him while he trains. But the Louisville Water Company refused, so she turned to the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Department for assistance.
Sgt. Anthony Terry is a Mt. Washington resident and a member of an Army National Guard unit based in Florence. He's is currently at Fort Hood, Texas preparing for his mission.
"Apparently they are the last ones that are going to be there," his wife Christy said. "They are going to get everybody out.
Christy is at home doing everything she can to support Anthony. They stay in touch mostly through Facebook where he posts about how much hard it is to be away. Anthony is missing his son's football games and the simple comforts of home, like good drinking water.
"U can taste dirt in it rubber and metal," Anthony wrote in one Facebook post about the water at Fort Hood, "soldiers are getting sick. When I was at sick call today one the nurse said drinking the water is just like drinking water in Mexico."
It's an ongoing concern for Christy.
"They're getting ready to go to Iraq," she said. "We don't really need them sick."
In an email, a Ft. Hood spokesman told the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Department the water on post is tested to make sure it meets all Safe Water Drinking Act requirements at all times. But in an email, Christopher J. Haug Sr., chief of media relations at Ft. Hood, said the water may taste and smell funny for a variety of reasons. He wrote:
It is not uncommon for Fort Hood customers to occasionally experience discoloration, odors, or odd-tastes in the supplied drinking water. These events do not necessarily indicate that the drinking water is not safe for human consumption, it just means the water may suddenly look, smell, or taste differently than you are used to. Common causes of taste, color, and odor problems include: galvanized service line piping (metallic taste, stagnant water odors); potable water source is surface water (fishy odor); hot water heaters (discoloration, metallic taste); lake (source of water) stratification (rotten-egg smell); improperly maintained home water filtration device (variety of taste and odor issues); and water stored in refrigerators and freezers (water will absorb odors from its surroundings).
Christy started writing companies, like Pepsi, Evian and Fuji asking them to send bottled water for her husband to drink. But she got rejection after rejection. Then, she had another idea. "After all the companies had told me no, I remembered Louisville Water Company has Pure Tap," she said.
Pure Tap is a program that "provides (free) filled bottles of pure tap® (water) for outdoor, non-profit fundraiser's and community events" according to the Louisville Water Company's website. So Christy wrote Louisville Water Company and asked them to donate to her husband.
"They sent me an email back and said they couldn't because they were in Texas and it's not in the Louisville surrounding area," Christy said.
So Christy wrote back asking Louisville Water Company to send the bottled water to her. She was willing to pay the cost of shipping herself using friends shipping discount. But once again, Louisville Water Company refused. This time it offered a different explanation. The company said Christy hadn't applied before the program's cutoff date, which is June 30 of the previous year.
"I didn't apply a year prior because I didn't know they were going to be drinking water that was going to be making them sick a year prior," Christy said.
That's when Christy contacted the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Department, and we went to Louisville Water Company to find out why they wouldn't make an exception for Sgt. Terry.
Kelley Dearing-Smith, a Louisville Water Company spokesperson, said although the Pure Tap program has between 8,000 and 10,000 water bottles on hand sitting in a warehouse, the water is reserved for emergency situations and community events only.
"While I certainly appreciate the service these folks are providing we just can't send water outside our service area for that particular reason," Dearing-Smith said. "I can't do that just because someone doesn't like the taste."
Dearing-Smith pointed out that LWC has donated free bottled water to qualifying military groups, including veterans and the Coast Guard. But said in this case, Dearing-Smith just couldn't grant the request. Christy said that explanation isn't good enough for her.
"Yes, I understand there are protocols," said Christy. "But these men and women are putting their life on the line for you to be able to enforce (those) protocols."
Christy now hopes someone from the community will step up and fill the need the Louisville Water Company couldn't.
"It just made me aggravated that these men and women are out there putting their life on the line and that they weren't even willing to give them safe clean drinking water," Christy said.
If you would like to donate drinking water to Sgt. Terry and the unit from Florence, send an email to email@example.com or send me a message through the Troubleshooter Facebook page.
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