- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2014

West Virginia health authorities on Monday promised the 300,000 residents who have been brushing and bathing with bottled water for five days that the ban on tap was almost over, and the chemicals that polluted a nearby waterway were nearly cleaned.

Tests shows that the licorice-smelling chemical used in a nearby coal processing plant that had spilled into the Elk River was almost below toxic level, authorities said, The Associated Press reported. Testers couldn’t even find traces of the chemical in some of the samples they took over the weekend.

If the test samples continue to come back clear, the ban on tap water will soon be lifted, AP reported. That means residents in the nine-county region impacted by the ban can resume life as normal.

“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, in the AP report.

It’s still not clear why the leak occurred, and why the company — Freedom Industries — took so long to alert state officials to the damage, AP reported.