Volunteers distribute cases of free bottled water to Denmark citizens
DENMARK, SC (WIS) - Hundreds of people lined up along the side of Denmark Furniture Store Wednesday afternoon.
They weren’t there for a couch or table but free bottled water.
Many of them believe the water in Denmark is not safe to drink even though the city and state said it is.
The law firms representing citizens in a class-action lawsuit against the city donated the water. They also organized the distribution. They gave away 1,000 cases of water on Black Friday.
“I hope the City of Denmark rallies around this because this is our opportunity to get some answers,” Moses Washington of Denmark Furniture Store said.
On Wednesday, people began lining up at 3:30 p.m.
“What that shows is that these people really need this,” said long-time Denmark resident and volunteer John Nimmons.
He said a lot of people are skeptical about the water and have been for quite some time.
“It’s like hell," Nimmons said. "You have to go to the store to buy water. You can’t drink the water from your sink.”
The South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (DHEC) said the water quality in Denmark is satisfactory. The last time it was rated unsatisfactory was in 2012.
According to a 2018 Sanitary Survey, the water system in Denmark is rated as ‘Needs Improvement’. DHEC stresses this isn’t because of water quality but because of equipment and storage issues.
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They said, if those aren’t fixed, it could lead to water quality problems later on down the road.
“People have used the water and they don’t have confidence in it. Nobody has been able to give them concrete answers,” said Chris Wilson, an attorney representing the citizens in the lawsuit.
Wilson said he understands why people don’t believe DHEC and the city,
Volunteers say they distributed 1,000 cases of water tonight. They hope to have another distribution some time soon and are open to donations of bottled water to the furniture store.
“It’s good to let people know somebody cares," Washington said. "Somebody is interested. We have ears now. I’m hoping something comes out of this,”
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