Residents near coal ash sites mark 1,000 days living on bottled water

BELMONT, N.C. — Thursday marks the 1,000th day that some residents near coal ash sites have been drinking bottled water.

Protesters stacked bottled water as high as they could outside Duke Energy headquarters Thursday.

In 2015, Duke Energy started providing bottled water to residents near coal ash sites after the state sent letters warning them not to drink their well water.

Those letters were eventually rescinded, but Duke Energy continued to send water to comply with a state law that mandates that the company provides a new drinking water supply to some residents.

"There is no impact from coal ash basins, but we want to take the issue off the table once and for all, making an investment that benefits all of our customers,” Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said.

Protesters said they want Duke Energy to speed up that process and company officials said they are making progress.

“Folks are getting hooked up to existing lines. We're building new lines,” Sheehan said.

Duke Energy said some residents have been unresponsive when questioned about these new drinking water supplies. The law requires Duke Energy to complete the work by October of 2018.

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