August 23, 2005
The Marietta Times (Ohio)
Free bottled water available for reimbursement
By Tom Hrach
The free bottled water for all customers of the Little Hocking
Water and Sewer Association is now available for people who agree
to purchase water and save their receipt for reimbursement.
The free bottled water was announced last week as part of an
agreement with DuPont, which operates its plant across the Ohio
River from the Little Hocking water well field.
“It will take a few more weeks to start the formal program,
but we wanted people to get the water right away so we have started
this program now,” said Bob Griffin, general manager of
the Little Hocking Water and Sewer Association.
DuPont agreed to provide the free bottled water until a carbon
filtration system is placed in the Little Hocking water system.
The system is being put in place due to the amount of a chemical
known as C8 that is in water provided to Little Hocking customers.
Allowing people to be reimbursed for their water purchases as
of Monday is welcome news to people who have been paying for bottled
water. The system has about 12,000 customers, and the free bottled
water also affects people who use private wells in the area served
by Little Hocking water in western Washington County.
Kim McMichael, 51, of 6549 State Route 550, Cutler, said he and
his family have purchased bottled water since it was first announced
that the chemical was in Little Hocking’s water back in
“It seems nice that we are getting this now, but I was
a little more concerned about it two years ago,” McMichael
said. “I will participate, and it will be appreciated.”
McMichael said he is currently paying about $4 for five gallons
of water so his bottled water bills have been significant.
Citizens can be reimbursed for up to three
gallons of drinking water per day for each person in the household.
A claim form will be sent to all customers in about two weeks
outlining how to be reimbursed.
The claims will be in effect until a formal program of proving
drinking water is put into place. That free program is being administered
by Garden City Group, a company reporting to Little Hocking Water.
No system has yet to be established for how that water will be
Also, all schools are immediately able
to buy bottled water and submit bills to the Garden City
Group for reimbursement. The school program will remain the same
even after the claims for citizens has ended.
Eligibility for non-residential customers
such as restaurants will be determined in a case-by-case basis.
As for private well owners, those citizens
are eligible if it is determined that the C8 level is 0.05 parts
per billion or greater.
Griffin said the free bottled water will be available for customers
until the carbon filtration system is installed on the Little
Hocking water system. Griffin said there is no timetable on the
installation of that system, and it could be for up to six months.
“There likely will be a little bit of an overlap with the
bottled water until we are certain the new system is up and running,”
Copyright © 2005 — The Marietta Times