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Jan 11, 2014 5:06 PM by Monica Gouty

Thousands of West Virginia residents remain without clean water

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - It could be days before clean tap water is flowing again to several hundred thousand people in West Virginia following a chemical spill.

State officials met Saturday to discuss plans for flushing a West Virginia American Water system contaminated by Thursday's spill.

West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre said at a news conference that sample test results must consistently show the chemical's presence is at or below a safe level before residents can resume using tap water.

The company issued the order Thursday after a chemical used to process coal spilled from a Freedom Industries plant into the Elk River in Charleston. The order applies to about 300,000 people.

A handful of people have been hospitalized since the spill.

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