Belmont residents still frustrated with drinking water situation

BELMONT, N.C. — Residents in Belmont are frustrated they've had to use bottled water for more than 800 days, and one person has now made and posted a sign depicting a skull and crossbones.

The area is on its 806th day of using bottled water, all because two toxic metals turned up in local well water.

During that time, a new president was elected, there have been two Super Bowls and Todd Crawford and more than 100 of his neighbors in Belmont haven't been able to drink their tap water.They have been living on bottled water after high levels of vanadium and hexavalant chromium, two toxic metals contained in coal ash, were discovered in their well water.

Duke Energy's Allen Steam Plant is just down the street.

Crawford wants everyone who drives by his house to know what they are dealing with, which is why he made the sign.

“I'm not an artist, for sure,” Crawford said.

Crawford stacked his bottled water, painted a skull and crossbones and a message warning land and home buyers to beware.

Dozens of new homes are being built in his community and hundreds of people drive by his house to get to Lake Wylie.

“I never had so many people stop in this yard and thank me,” Crawford said.

Duke Energy still claims coal ash basins aren't impacting wells in the area and that the state has told residents that their water is safe to drink.

Crawford said he wants a solution, and to let people know the community is still left without one.

Duke Energy is being allowed to pass on the $55 million cost of cleaning up two polluted sites in Ohio to its customers.

The state supreme court said the Charlotte-based company can continue charging Ohio customers $1.67.

The charge has been in place for three years and is likely to continue for two more.

Duke wants to increase energy rates by almost 15 percent in parts of North Carolina to cover coal ash cleanup costs.

Currently, it doesn’t include Charlotte, but officials told Channel 9 they plan to ask for a rate hike in the Charlotte area, as well.

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