WEST WHITELAND, Pa. (CBS)–Some residents in Chester County are dealing with brown water flowing into their homes, and some have lost their well water completely.
They blame a pipeline Sunoco is digging beneath their properties. David Mano showed CBS3 brown and cloudy water coming from his well.
“You couldn’t see anything through it,” Mano said, holding a jar of the water. “They should have contacted us two weeks ago when they knew they poked a hole in the well.”
Mano said after neighbors began complaining earlier this week, Sunoco began offering bottled water and hotel rooms.
West Whiteland’s city manager described the company as “responsive” once managers were aware of the issues. She said Sunoco is being encouraged to pay to hook up everyone to city water following this situation.
Some like Debbie Cindric, who spent a night in a hotel room, defended the company.
“They’re doing the best they can with the situation,” she said.
Others remain skeptical. Mano is sending his well water out for private testing because he feels Sunoco is not being upfront about the situation.
A spokesman for Sunoco said in a statement that the company is investigating and testing local well water:
“Sunoco Pipeline is working with a number of residents in the Exton (Chester County) area to resolve private water well water issues that appear to be related to nearby construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Approximately 12 households on Township Line Road and Valley View Drive, mostly in West Whiteland Township but also in Uwchlan Township, reported either losing water pressure or experiencing cloudy water beginning on Monday.
Sunoco Pipeline has remained in close communications with residents, and made available potable water and hotel accommodations. We have reestablished water supply to those who lost it, provided additional filtration for households experiencing cloudy water, and offered additional testing to nearby households. We have tested approximately 20 private wells in total and are awaiting full results.
Crews have been working on a horizontal directional drill between West Whiteland and Uwchlan as part of the pipeline construction. Drilling was suspended Monday, following the first reports of well water problems. Since then, measures were taken to stabilize the drill hole and prevent infiltration of the aquifer. Drilling is scheduled to resume Saturday, with backup water-supplies in place as a precaution.
We will continue to monitor the construction and work to minimize any impacts to residents.”
Officials say the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has also been notified.