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Nowata residents have brown water, city says OK to drink

Nowata residents have brown water
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 18:55:24-04

NOWATA, Okla. -- Residents are facing murky, brown water coming out of their faucets.

It started happening after the city began its annual hydrant flushing process about three weeks ago.

Nicole Meacham says the water is staining clothes and sometimes smells. “We don’t really do laundry or bathe here. We bathe at my dad’s house. He’s rural, so he doesn’t have this issue as much,” Meacham said.

Officials with the City of Nowata insist the city’s water passed all DEQ mandated testing and is safe to drink.

City Manager Melanie Carrick said, “It seems to be going on a little bit longer than normal because of the excessive heat . . . A lot of the addresses are coming from people who are on two-inch lines. So, when you flush your main hydrant, it pulls the water out of your eight-inch and ten-inch main lines, but it doesn’t pull it out of those smaller older lines.”

That is why Carrick says to call city hall and set up a work order to have someone come out and flush your lines, then let your outdoor and indoor faucets run until the water is clear. If the problem persists after three days, call again.

She added, “Next month, if your water usage spikes up and we’ve asked you to flush your faucets and everything, then we’re going to look at adjustments on people’s bills.”

According to the city manager, all 220 hydrants will be flushed within the next week.

Meacham said, “We’re spending hundreds of dollars in bottled water to give to our pets, to do our dishes . . . and then hundreds of dollars for a utility bill that we can’t even use the water . . . I just want clean water provided to people who are having this issue. And the next time this happens, maybe send out a note with our utility bill explaining that this might happen.”

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