Contaminated drinking water news: Residents tell city officials water not fit to drink.

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Volume II
Number 86
Current Water News Postings
Originally Published
By The Daily Home
by David Atchison Apr 04, 2012

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Contaminated drinking water news:

Residents Tell City Officials Water Not Fit To Drink

Apr 04, 2012
Oak Ridge resident Tommy Robinson addresses city officials about the discolored water he and his neighbors have dealt with for almost four months. Photo by Bob Crisp/The Daily Home
PELL CITY — A woman held up a bottle of dingy water, so cloudy one could not see through the clear container.
“This came out of my faucet,” she said. “Good drinking water.”
At least that’s what residents say city officials have told them.

The 60-70 residents who attended a public meeting at the Pell City Senior Center Tuesday afternoon voiced frustrations about the discolored water problem in their community, saying the water is anything but safe to consume or use.

“If it’s good, have some,” one resident said, as he put a bottle of water on the table with clear plastic cups for the mayor and council to try.

Fresh from his spigot, he said.

“Are you really saying that water is safe to drink?” one woman asked Mayor Bill Hereford and council members Greg Gossett and Dot Wood.

The crowd nudged Hereford and the others to sample the muddy-looking water.

“I’m not going to drink it,” Hereford said.

Not all the residents living in the Mill Village, Oak Ridge and Eden areas of the city have discolored water.

“The discoloration comes and goes, but the smell stays,” one woman said.

Some residents say they are paying more than $50 a month for water they can’t use or are afraid to use.

“It’s making us sick,” one man said. “I have no trust in the water.”

One resident said the water needs testing at their individual residence, and many residents expressed concerns the water poses health risks to them and their families.

“If we can’t use the water, why are we paying for it?” one resident asked.

Hereford said the city is required to charge the minimum water fee to customers.

Some residents said they were initially warned about the water problem two weeks too late. And many who say they had ingested the water became sick.

Residents said the water has caused rashes, stomach problems and even diarrhea.

“My family was so sick we couldn’t even celebrate Christmas,” one man said.

One woman said her pets even became sick after drinking the dingy water.

“My dog will turn up its nose, and won’t drink it,” another woman said.

Residents said their water smells like sewage, and they feel like the city is not doing enough to solve the problem.

Other residents said the water has ruined new clothes, and is leaving stains in their baths and sinks and ruining their hot water heaters.

Some residents said they want things to go back to the way it was before the city began receiving water from the Coosa Valley Water Supply District, of which the city is a founding partner.

As a member of the CVWSD, the city is required to buy 750,000 gallons of water per day.

City officials say the problem is not the water coming from the newly-constructed surface water treatment facility in Ragland, but the aging pipes that carry the water.

Hereford said the reverse flow of water is causing the discoloration of the water.

“That’s what I’ve heard from every engineer, and I’ve heard from a bunch of them,” Hereford said.

About the only advice city officials could offer residents was to continue flushing or running their water until it clears.

[toggle title=”We’re flushing and asking you to continue to flush” height=”auto”]
“We’re flushing and asking you to continue to flush,” Hereford said. “We want to be supportive. My heart goes out to you. I’d rather it happened to me than to you.”

He did say the city was replacing some of the older water lines in the Mill Village area which could help clear up the water.

Oak Ridge community resident Tommy Robinson said water is surfacing in his backyard because city workers continue to flush out the water system by running water.

He said the discolored water issue was of main concern to city officials at the beginning, in December, but he said residents are feeling like their city officials have forgotten them and the problem they continue to face on a daily basis.

“In our eyes, we don’t see anything happening anymore,” Robinson said.

Residents also complained that officials are not communicating with them about the problem or providing any updates about fixing the water problem.

Residents also said they are being told the city engineer must inspect their water before the city supplies them with fresh bottled water.

Some residents said they fear they could go without water for days until the city engineer is available for the inspection and would just have to buy the water themselves for their families because of the wait.

Hereford said that problem is fixable, and the city will continue supplying bottled water to residents with water problems.

“We’re going to continue to do all we can,”

Hereford said.

Contact David Atchison at

Read more:The Daily Home – Residents tell city officials water not fit to drink
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