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Why is the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority just now acknowledging the drinking water is contaminated?

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WEST MORGAN-EAST LAWRENCE, Ala. - The water in the  West Morgan-East Lawrence area has been found contaminated and has been for several years, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The findings came out May 20, but the stakes were raised June 2 when the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority said the water is not safe to drink.  You should also avoid cooking with it, officials said.

"Prior to these new advisories, our water authority had always been told our water quality was fine. Thirteen days ago that changed," said Don Sims, General Manager of the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority.

Water authority leaders say they have lost all confidence in the water quality.  They urge people to buy bottled water for the time being while they work on a solution.

The short-term solution could be in place by September.  A long-term plan may not be ready until 2019.

Sims said regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency recently changed and the water did not pass those changes.

Please do not drink the water or cook with it in any way, especially, if you are pregnant.  If consumed, the water can cause life long health issues.

The water authority also says boiling the water won't help.  In fact, it may make it worse -- heating up the contaminants may make the water more toxic.


Read extensive coverage on the water advisory and various concerns on WHNT.com.