Resident react to OIG's lead exposure report

Published: Jul. 19, 2017 at 4:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2017 at 4:45 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Office of the Inspector General's report about the risk of lead exposure in the water left some residents furious over the fact they weren't informed their businesses or homes could be at risk.

"It makes me angry. It makes me angry because we were not informed of a lot of things during this entire process, but that's a dangerous thing to not be informed of. I have three kids, and we were all drinking that water," said Rebecca Worley, a resident who lives near Jefferson Avenue.

Another resident felt as though the Sewerage and Water Board wasn't looking out for residents' best interest.

"It's disgusting. It's just a lack of respect for all of the people who live in the area, the business owners," said Kay Charbonnet, who owns Kay's Boutique on Magazine. "They didn't give us any information about it, and now we're gonna hear that there's some sort of lead poisoning that could be affecting my employees at my store that I care deeply about and everyone else on this block. That's ridiculous."

Some residents are upset they didn't know a lead line was potentially left leading to their homes.

"We would've avoided tap water for sure and could've possibly called in my own plumber to fix the pipes under the house while everything was opened up," Worley said.

The Sewerage and Water Board said it will inform residents when potential lead issues arise, but for some that just isn't enough.

"It's good that they're going to do it, but it is also too little too late. What if I've been drinking tap water this whole time because I couldn't afford bottled water?" Charbonnet said. "It's unfortunate that we're just finding out about this now and they could inform us about it when they were cutting the pipes."

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