Discolored water alarms customers, Central Arkansas Water said it's safe

Central Arkansans were alarmed to see discolored water pouring from their taps. Winnie Wright looked into it.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. KTHV - Many central Arkansans have shown concern about discolored, and sometimes smelly water.
 
Yellow bath water, and amber-colored water coming from the faucet. It's no wonder people are alarmed.
 
Central Arkansas Water said it's all natural, but many still have concerns.
 
"A couple of days ago, I noticed that the water was really discolored. Sort of a dingy, dark, Amber color, and just a small hint of a taste,” West Little Rock resident, Russ Racop said.
 
He was totally unprepared to sink, bath, and toilet water, more the color of soda, than of tap water. "
 
When you fill up a glass and the water is a little tainted looking," Racop said. "It's kind of a shocking thing."
 
He's not alone. In just about every next-door app and neighborhood page across Little Rock, there are people wondering: what's up with the water?
 
"We were doing laundry and it started smelling really bad," West Little Rock mother of two, Sarah Mathews said. "I actually thought it was my washer and dryer, that something was wrong with. So I actually called a crew to come out and check it out and they said nothing was wrong.”
 
Central Arkansas Water said while the water may not be much to look at, it is totally safe to use.
 
"When the surface layer of the lake begins to get a little cooler, it begins mixing with that lower level of the lake, and when that occurs, it kind of stirs things up,” Doug Shackleford, spokesperson for Central Arkansas Water said.
 
The mineral that's causing the water to turn is called manganese. It is found in nature and the human body actually requires a little each day.
 
"That manganese is making its way to our treatment plant. We are trying our very best at the treatment process to adjust it, to eliminate some of the discolorations, the odors, and the earthiness, but we've seen pretty high levels of manganese over the last couple of days,” Shackleford said.
 
He added that while the manganese is high, it’s nowhere near too high.
 
The water company warned customers on social media a couple of days ago, but that information didn't trickle down to its customers, who say, if it's natural and a yearly thing, they'd like a little warning ahead of time.
 
"If it was publicized; like what was going on, giving us actual details to why it's safe, would be maybe a little more reassuring," Mathews said. "But I have two little ones and so I don't know that I really want them drinking the water.”
 
Central Arkansas Water said they're considering doing text message notifications next fall, before the water turns over again.
 
Russ Racop said he'd like to see something in his water bill too, for those who may not get texts.
 

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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