Going weeks without running water a health hazard

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Running water is something we all take for granted - until we don't have it. Some residents in Benton Harbor have been without water for weeks and it is raising health concerns.

Some families in Benton Harbor have been almost a month without running water.

"No laundry, wearing the same jeans for a week," said Jason Dowdy of Benton Harbor.

We contacted the Berrien County Health Department to find out if going so long without running water raises health concerns.

They refused to comment.

We asked a public health expert in St. Joseph County who said anytime someone doesn't have running water, the health concerns become urgent.

"It's critical for good sanitation and good health," said Dr. Thomas Felger of the St. Joseph County Health Department. "A day or so, you could probably get by and do pretty easily, but if you're looking at a week or more then you've got a lot of water to buy"

Without running water, flushing the toilet, taking a shower, washing dishes, all are out of the question, which experts say could be problematic long term.

"There's not much studying been done but you can assume unless they are extremely careful and buy a lot of bottled water, eventually something health wise will catch up," said Felger.

Experts say elderly people who are without running water and families with young children should reach out to the city and use whatever relief they are offering.

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