No water: Could it happen here?

The Missouri River is Jefferson City's main water source, and emergency management says any contamination would be easy to spot further upstream.

It's been five days since a chemical leak contaminated a West Virginia water supply; affecting nearly 300,000 people. Officials are gradually lifting the ban on tap water in the 9 affected counties.

They're lifting the ban slowly to make sure the water system isn't overwhelmed by demand, which could cause more problems.

It's still not clear what caused a tank storing a chemical used to coal processing to start leaking.

Water is essential to many of our daily activities, so what would you do if you were cut off?

Mid-Missouri resident Sharon Kirchoff said, "The first thing would be water to drink. And if the water would be available, you know to get bottled water, then that would take care of that but then to think you have to brush your teeth with the bottled water. I'm going to tell you, you sure can't take a shower or bath with bottled water. I'm going to tell you how thankful we should be for the everyday things we have in life and water is that. We take that for granted along with many other things."

Mike Holmes, another mid-Missouri resident, had similar sentiments.

"I would hope that I'd have some bottled water stored up, but I know after watching the news that the grocery store shelves are empty."{>}"I would hope that I'd have some bottled water stored up, but I know after watching the news that the grocery store shelves are empty."

The Missouri River is the primary source of water here in Jefferson City. Cole County emergency manager Bill Farr said they'd likely catch any contaminants further upstream before they filtered into the public water source.

"We would have to see something very drastic coming down the Missouri River...and of course with the treatment plants, the chlorine and stuff that they already treat anyway, it would probably catch that very rapidly," said Farr.

A large water main break impacted the city last year, shutting down schools and a hospital in Jefferson City. With teamwork, water was restored fairly quickly.

"The biggest thing we have is a great working relationship with not only American Water in Jefferson City, [but with] the water districts outside. Public water 1, 2, 3, 4. They're set up where they can interconnect their lines so if maybe one, public water 2 went down, they could literally open valves from the other districts," said Farr.

Farr encourages every home to have an emergency kit that contains at least one gallon of water per person, per day.