Charlestown residents fed up with brown water - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Charlestown residents fed up with brown water

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CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- Charlestown, Indiana residents say they are fed up with dirty, brown water they have dealt with for several years. 

"No one should have to consume that kind of water, use that kind of water, feed it to your dogs, take a bath in it, wash your clothes, even brush your teeth with it," said Josh Craven, who lives in the city.

Charlestown residents say they never know when their water will be brown or clear. It is a problem that comes and goes unexpectedly, and it has been a problem for years. WDRB is asking city officials why the problem still is not fixed.

In 2012, WDRB did a story about the problem. That's the same year the city started adding Clearitas to the water. It removes minerals from the system, but doesn't work overnight.

"You can't put a timeline, we said we'd like to see it in a couple years, but realistically it's going to take more than that," said Mike Perry, Director of Utilities for the city of Charlestown.

As gross as it looks water officials say it is safe to drink. The color comes from a build-up of a mineral called manganese.

"This is tap water," Craven said while holding up a water bottle with grainy, black water. "This is a filter going into the tap water supply from the councilman's house. He (councilman Danny James) has this filter hooked onto his tap water at his house, he brought this to a city council meeting two months ago and they just laughed about it."  

WDRB spoke to councilman James on the phone, who confirmed he took in the filthy filter to the last council meeting. He says Charlestown Water supplies water to at least 2,400 homes.

Charlestown water has been discolored for years.

"It's gone on as long as I can remember. I grew up in this house and it had dirty water," said Craven.

Before adding Clearitas, the city would get about three complaints a day.

"From having 60-80 dirty water calls in a six month time period to 20 or less, that's a big, big difference," said Perry.

Twice a year, the city flushes out the system to get rid of built-up minerals. It stirs things up, and that is usually when residents start seeing the brown water again, according to Perry.

"I would like to see them do something about the water and not just Clearitas. We don't have a water filtration system, they need to fix that," said Craven. "Us as residents, we're fed up with it." 

The next flush of the system will come in February or March. 

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