News Feature | August 21, 2017

Texas Town Confronts Brown Water Coming From Taps

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,
@sarmje

bottled water reg new

Residents of River Oaks, TX, are tired of drinking brown tap water, but a solution is not expected until October.

One resident said she is spending $90 per month on bottled water. She also sends her laundry to a service, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Officials in the town near Fort Worth, TX, say the water is safe to drink. Nevertheless, City Manager Marvin Gregory is aware residents are upset.

“The ones who are affected are the ones who are really upset,” he said, per the report. “Until they see pipe going into the ground, they probably won’t know what we’re going to do. Once you see it you will know that the city really is going to do something. I can promise you that the city really is going to do something.”

The planned solution is this: The city intends to replace 50,000 feet of old galvanized iron pipe, the report said. The iron piping is estimated to be 70 years old. In its place, the city will lay PVC pipes. Some customers will see bills rise over $6 per month as the city spends $8 million on the project, the report said.

“City officials started working on the plan five years ago, but Gregory said the green light to start construction didn’t come until 2016. About 100 water customers in River Oaks, which has a population of about 7,400 residents, are receiving the brown water,” the report said, citing Gregory.

The city issued a public notice stating it will perform routine temporary free chlorine conversion to the water system in August. Flushing the system with higher-than-usual chlorine concentrations is aimed at reducing discoloration.

River Oaks is hardly alone. Just this week, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission reached out to its customers about brown water flowing from their taps as a result of organic matter in the Potomac River, according to The Washington Post. General Manager Carla Reid called it “unacceptable” from “an aesthetic standpoint,” the report said.

For similar stories visit Water Online’s Drinking Water Contaminant Removal Solutions Center.

Image credit: "24.365_bottled_water" Todd Morris © 2010, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/