How About a Coal Drink of Water?

Are you drinking water contaminated by coal pollution?  Apparently, that's what folks living in the shadows of the South Carolina Electric & Gas coal plant fear. 

A chilling story published in the Charleston Post & Courier tells how local residents "have wondered for years about the black specks in their drinking water.  When they turn on their faucets, water sometimes pours out in a gray gush.  When they do laundry, their clothes get stained."

"Worse," the story continues, "they worry that those black particles might be harming their health."

The article goes on to detail the newspaper's recent investigation, which involved extensive tests that determined the black particles found in a number of wells located near the coal-fired power plant are "fine grains of coal."

As the article notes, raw coal typically contains trace amounts of arsenic, cadmium and other toxic heavy metals.  While it's unclear whether the particles are harmful if ingested, residents are sure of one thing: "That stuff shouldn't be in our water in the first place."

Read the story to find the answer to this mystery.  One thing's for sure: coal is dirty and dangerous.

About the Authors

Rob Perks

Managing Director, Campaigns & External Affairs

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