People in Denmark, SC petitioning Governor, planning protest for safe water

News 12 @ 11

DENMARK, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- While the City of Denmark has stopped using a chemical called HaloSan in water from one of its wells, people exposed to the chemical say they're still dealing with the effects.

With no clear timeline for a solution, neighbors are in limbo, waiting on clean water and answers.

William Stewart and dozens of others waited in line on Saturday behind Denmark Furniture.

"Without purified water, clear water, you might as well die," said Stewart. "You can't survive off of bad water,"

For at least 10 years, people in Denmark used that bad water without knowing it was being injected with a chemical not approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

"I can't find the words to express myself," said Stewart.

But now that they know about the chemical used in the water, they rely on bottled water. Water they know is safe.

"This helps, but it's no good for the future," said Stewart.

By the thousand, people in Denmark are taking the water crisis into their own hands, handing out nearly a 100, 000 water bottles in the last two months, 12,000 gallons of water in total.

"These distributions are a temporary fix to us getting real answers," said Deanna Miller-Berry. She's heading up a grassroots effort called Denmark Citizens for Safe Water.

They're waiting for answers in the form of class action lawsuits. There are two of them. Demanding to know how the chemical got in the water in the first place, and for a solution.

"People are now listening and people are now believing the facts," said Miller-Berry.

They're also petitioning Governor Henry McMaster to declare Denmark in a state of emergency and in turn, bring relief and safe water to the town. Because they worry the donations behind these distributions are running dry.

Saturday's distribution was the town's third. All three have been sponsored by Walmart where 754 cases of water were handed out.