Dec 10, 2018

Volunteers Provide Bottled Water to Denmark, S.C.

A group of residents has filed a class-action lawsuit regarding drinking water contamination

Bottled water provided to residents of Denmark, S.C.
Bottled water provided to residents of Denmark, S.C.

Volunteers with Denmark Citizens for Safe Drinking Water have distributed nearly 2,000 cases of donated bottled water with the help of neighboring Walmart stores to residents of Denmark, S.C., concerned with drinking water contamination.

A Freedom of Information Act request revealed a well in Denmark, S.C., has been treated for more than 10 years with a chemical not approved by the U.S. EPA for drinking water treatment. The substance, known as HaloSan, typically is used as a disinfectant for pools and spas but was used to treat iron bacteria in the small town’s drinking water. Now, the state is facing a lawsuit from 40 residents who claim the water has damaged their health.

Since discovering the drinking water contamination, residents and volunteers have worked together provide clean water. On Nov. 23, Denmark Citizens for Safe Water volunteers distributed more than 900 cases of bottled water to 510 residents, as reported by local news source T&D. The bottles were donated by the Barnwell and Orangeburg Walmart stores. Furthermore, volunteers distributed an additional 1,000 cases of bottled water on Nov. 28, purchased by Bakari Sellers of the Columbia-based Strom Law Firm and Wilson & Luginbill of Bamberg, tow of the law firms representing citizens in the class-action lawsuit against the city.

“You have to think these citizens have been poisoned for 10 years by our local government and our state officials. So they don’t trust them at all. How can you blame them?” said Deanna Berry, an organizer of Denmark Citizens for Safe Water.

The organization aims to provide water distribution in the city at least once a week through neighboring disaster relief agencies. They also hope that major businesses and corporations will provide donations.