Pope and Johnson County residents drink "brown water" - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Pope and Johnson County residents drink "brown water"

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VIENNA -- Folks in parts of Johnson and Pope Counties have been drinking brown water. 

The Millstone Water Department has been trying to correct the problem. The EPA has assisted in resolving the issue.

The water looks clear coming out of this faucet, but when Vienna home owners went to fill their pool, the water looked black.

"About two weeks ago, I noticed that the water was brownish when I poured a glass of water," said Johnson County resident Pat Kalicki.

Kalicki first noticed the problem in her toilet and thought it was a break in one of her lines.

"I flushed again and it came back brown. Then I tried the kitchen sink and I noticed the water was a little discolored," explained Kalicki.

Officials say the water department was conducting maintenance on their clarifier. When the maintenance began, some water became oxidized, causing the issue.

News 3 reached out to Millstone Water District, which said it was working to get the iron out of the water.

"The woman in the office said that they knew that there was a problem, they were working on it and they didn't have any boil water order, so, it was safe to drink," added Kalicki.

Kalicki said she's continued to drink the water but other residents say they bought bottled water for drinking.

In an email, the EPA called it an aesthetic issue not requiring a boil order. 

"It probably wouldn't have hurt if they had sent out a notice, because they know how to bill us. Just telling us what was going on, making us feel better about it," said Kalicki.

The water department made corrections and EPA tests show the water to be within the limits for manganese and iron, which caused the discoloration.

"I'm considering getting a water filter," added Kalicki.

Authorities with the Illinois EPA said some systems are reporting that the water is clear.  

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