News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, October 13, 2010
DENMARK, S.C. -- It's brown. It's dirty. It's the water coming out of Pauline Brown and Eugene Smith's faucets in their Denmark home.
The jars Pauline Brown and Eugene Smith keep look like science experiments. Floating particles. They're labeled with dates and where the water came from -- the bathtub or somewhere else.
"When you wash your clothes in it, they turn brown, the smell is terrible," Brown said.
The brown water is still settling in the toilet. There's residue around the tub.
The water they can use, they get from neighbors, wells, or a nearby spring. And they're not the only ones.
"It all breaks out in my chest, legs, all my body breaking out from the water," said Carrie Sue Jones.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control took samples at the home in August. They showed elevated levels of lead and manganese. By phone, a DHEC spokesman says the water would only pose a risk if a lot of it was consumed every day for a long period of time.
"They say we can drink the water, but (it looks brown)."
DHEC has been testing the water in Denmark for almost two years. They believe the problems come from old pipes under old homes not from water distribution pipes or the water source itself.
No matter what it is, Pauline and Eugene just want it to end.
"I'm tired of going to bed scratching all the time and breaking out, I have a life, and where I break out is below, and that's no good and around my neck, that's no good," she said.