A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices


Fending For Yourself

By William Holsting

We don’t have the licorice smell now, but when they started flushing it smelled bad for awhile. I still don’t trust the water. You wash your hair and you feel itchy and scratchy about your ears, and I don’t know if it’s the water or just in my mind. I would feel more comfortable almost putting a pump in the creek and taking a shower from that.

It’s awful if you go to brush your teeth and then you forget and you stick your toothbrush under it and then you’ve messed up, then you’ve got to find another toothbrush. I don’t do it now, but I did at first.

Some people still have their old wells, and I’ve been thinking about whether it’s worth the cost to put a well in, and take the risk that it would be dry or have red water. I really just wish they would fix the water system. West Virginia American Water took a big ad out in the paper saying how safe the water is, but you can’t believe the water company because what they’re selling is water.

They need independent people checking that water who are not connected with the water company, and the chemical company should have been regulated more years ago. There’s enough blame to go around. They were just renegades up there with nobody to look after them.

If you don’t stick up for yourself the water company’s not going to stick up for you.

William Holsting owns a landscaping business in Ashford, W.Va.