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Claremore working to fix aging water lines

Posted at 5:55 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 19:20:47-05

CLAREMORE, Okla. — Claremore's Neoma Inman makes her living selling purified water at Hydration Station. Inman recently had to replace a water filter that stopped working shortly after she put it in. She said the problem was dirty water coming from the city.

"When I started to wash my hands at the sink, it was all brown," Inman said. "And so I know it had stopped up that filter way before its time."

Inman's not alone. She said many customers buy her water because they don't trust the city water. Multiple viewers have sent 2 Works for You photos of brown water coming out of faucets.

"My customers that come in, they run water in the tub and it's brown," Inman said. "They don't want to put their children in that. They've ran it in the sink and it's brown. They make coffee and tea and it tastes terrible. And they don't drink the city water because it's just so awful."

Water quality has been an issue for years in Claremore.

In 2017, the city told us the water was brown because of the expansion of the water plant. The water cleared up, but this August it turned brown again. City Manager Jim Thomas tells us water line breaks were to blame. He said the lines are old and need to be replaced, but the water is safe to drink.

"The public needs to realize, the water is safe," Thomas said. "We're going to continue to have water line breaks for a community that's 136 years old. It's just part of life."

Blue flags going up and down Sioux Street in Claremore indicate where the water line is that's being replaced in 2020. The city wants to replace more over the next 10 to 15 years, but it's going to cost $30 million to $40 million.

"And unless the public wants to come forward and say, 'Yep, let's go out and do a go bond for $100 million,' we're going to do it systematically over the next 10 to 15 years, prioritizing those areas where we're getting the most line breaks," Thomas said.

The city asks residents to be patient, and let them know if their water is brown.

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