Central Texas residents upset over discolored water

Posted at 10:42 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 23:42:33-04

When you open your tap, you expect to see clear water flowing through. But that hasn't been the case for some Kempner Water Supply customers.

Instead, they've been seeing yellow- or brown-colored water.

"I noticed it when I was outside filling my horses' water that it was completely brown. So I came in the house and turned on the water, filled it in a bottle, and it was brown," Kempner resident Ilonka Margis said.

A Kempner Water Supply Corporation representative told her a mineral called manganese, which they said can sometimes be difficult to filter out, is causing the discolored water. She was told it's safe to drink and that's it's found in several foods.

On Wednesday, the water finally cleared up, after an employee came to her house and flushed her line. But she still doesn't feel comfortable drinking it.

"It's like critters in Texas. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there," she said.

Her neighbor Cristy Rhodes agreed.

"Do we truly know that the water is safe? They claim that the water is safe, but looking at it, I don't know anybody who would drink this water. I wouldn't even give this water to my animals," Rhodes said.

Margis said she was given results from a water test the company completed back in January, but she wants something more current.

"The January test to me is null and void. Doesn't help me today if I have a test from January showing me what the levels were," Margis said.

She doesn't think this should have happened in the first place.

"We live in the middle of the United States in the year 2016. We can expect clean drinking water. We're paying for it," she said. "It should be clear, it should be filtered, and it should be healthy."

Kempner Water Supply Corporation General Manager Delores Goode sent News Channel 25 the following statement: 

After working closely with TCEQ and our engineers, all the manganese is cleared up in the treatment process, and the members should be receiving clear water soon. Due to our water system being over 300 square miles and spread out in four counties, it is taking a few days to reach all of our members. Our Board of Directors and most of our employees also use Kempner water, so please know we do understand the frustration, and we have been doing everything possible from day one to get the problem solved. If any of our members have any water issues, please feel free to call our office, and we will be glad to come out and flush and/or test your water. 

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