News21 investigates drinking water in America

“Troubled Water,” an investigation into drinking water contamination in communities across the country, is the 2017 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national multimedia reporting project produced by top journalism students and graduates. Each year, students selected into the program report in-depth on a topic of national importance. This year, 29 journalism students from […]

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Wyoming couple’s well water problems launch national debate about effects of oil and gas drilling

PAVILLION, Wyo. – Rhonda and Jeff Locker enjoyed hosting friends and family at their farm home in Pavillion, Wyoming. The 56 year old said she took pride in serving her guests water from the well on their land. “It was the best I’d ever tasted,” Rhonda Locker said. That changed in the early 1990s when […]

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W.Va. communities must patch up leaks, broken water pipes themselves

GARWOOD, W.Va. – In southern West Virginia, hundreds of unqualified residents must now run their local water systems, which often draw water from abandoned mines. As the state has lost coal-industry jobs, the miners who once ran these systems have abandoned this task to the remaining residents. Environmental Protection Agency data shows that at least […]

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Newburgh, N.Y., councilman: Water is basic human right, no matter income level

NEWBURGH, N.Y. – When Newburgh’s city manager declared a state of emergency last year after tests found dangerous levels of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid in the city’s water supply, Nancy Colas scheduled blood tests for everyone in her family. “My 17-year-old, he pretty much grew up here, and he’s been drinking that water all his life,”  she […]

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Small Washington community grapples with legacy contamination

  LYNDEN, Wash. – Kip Sauve has lived at the Kontree Apartments in Lynden, Washington, for two years. He won’t drink the water from the tap. And he won’t let his pet cat and bird drink it, either. For more than a year, the residents of the complex have periodically received “do not drink” advisories  […]

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Millions of Americans turn to bottled water, but is bottled better?

PHOENIX – When Bonnie Sicard of Beebe Plain, Vermont, started receiving notices about arsenic in her drinking water more than than five years ago, she wasn’t going to risk poisoning her family. She went straight to bottled water. “I got seven grandsons,” she said. “When they used to come over when they were little, we […]

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Episode 6: African American neighborhood in North Carolina left behind

One neighborhood at the edge of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was left off the grid for decades as municipal water systems expanded around them. The Robert Eubanks community, a historically African American neighborhood, had to rely on private wells, which were often contaminated. They watched – and waited – as the white neighborhoods around them […]

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Hilton Head residents’ ‘paradise’ marred by faulty septic systems

HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Gloria Murray spent 20 years dealing with the consequences of a faulty septic system on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. She grew up on the island, which is often described as “paradise” by tourists, with its sandy beaches and gated golf resorts. But for many native islanders such as Murray, everyday life […]

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‘Boil water’ notices common for small Vermont community

BEEBE PLAIN, Vt. – The residents of Beebe Plain in Derby, Vermont, have gotten used to the “boil water” notices that come in the mail. “They send us a post every once in awhile saying that we should be boiling our water,” resident Bonnie Sicard said. “This has been going on pretty much ever since […]

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