Community says their water is yellow and ‘smelly’

Would you drink a glass of the water that looks like this? The photos to the left show tap water from the home of a person living in the Jonathan Creek Water District.

Community members from that area of Marshall County, like Jeremy Smith, say their water turns yellow and smells about once a month for a couple of days.

“We can’t even cook, you know, pasta to feed our children, because the water is yellow and smells like urine,” Smith said.

He said if you boil it you can scoop it with a fork.

“You can’t take a shower because you’ve got a film on you after you get out of the shower,” Smith said.

James Dossett, who is the assistant to the water plant operations manager, says he’s going to fix the problem.

“We’re going to flush it out until we get it clean. We’re not going to quit until we do,” Smith said.

Dossett and the board heard a roomful of disgruntled community members with the same smelly problem. That yellow stuff? Dossett says its iron.

“It’s not harmful to you,” Dossett said.

The iron in the water is considered a secondary containment problem. Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that means it doesn’t pose a health risk but can have aesthetic, cosmetic, of technical effects.

He says the yellow problem comes from a little over a pound of iron in a million pounds of water getting through the system.

“The first priority is getting those filters where they don’t let anything through,” Dossett said.

He said they’ll work in sections, flushing the water from the plant and working their way out.

“It’ll be bad for a little bit, but when we get this part done, that’s done. And we go over to the next section, get that cleaned, and when that’s done it’s just like laying bricks. You just start here and keep working,” Dossett said.

Dossett says he doesn’t blame community members for being mad. He said they plan on putting a message in the Marshall County Tribune-Courier addressing customer concerns and how they’ll fix it.

He says they hope to have the problem fixed in 60 days.     

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