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Blackwell water laced with carcinogens

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jun 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-13 19:29:51-04

One community says their drinking water is orange and yellow muddy water.

People in Blackwell are convinced drinking a glass could put your life at risk because the city tap is laced with carcinogens.

Shantel Emerine says her two girls are at risk because the water in Blackwell often comes out of the faucet looking like this.

This week, the city issued a letter to residents recognizing Blackwell water exceeds DEQ limits for pollutants and carcinogens.

"We get this letter in that it mainly affects infants and elderly."

The letter says people may experience problems with their "Liver, kidneys or central nervous system and have an increased risk of getting cancer."

It's not only health concerns - Emerine says it's ruining property - washing machines and the dishwasher.

"It stains our clothes," Emerine said. "The water was so bad, it stained the inside of our hot tub. I can't fill up my daughter's pool, it comes out brown."

Emerine says now she has to buy gallons of water out of her own pocket to use at home.

Same goes for other neighbors in town.

"It gets a little expensive after you are paying for water from the city," town resident Irene Hinman said. "Then you have to go out and buy water for your family to drink, and I can't buy enough water for my family to take a bath in. So, yeah, it's a big deal,"

The city says the pollutants have built up in the town's old pipes.

"They are 100 years old and we gotta replace them," City Manager Chip Outhier said. "A lot of people before me have neglected it."

Residents know officials are trying, but they say the water problem has gone on too long.

"To blame the city? The city is trying, the city manager got the problem handed to him," Blackwell resident Patrick Michael Poulson. "He's trying, the people are frustrated because it's gone on for so long. We should have safe and clean water to drink."

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