The Richmond Register

September 16, 2012

Making it clear: Utility says it’s working daily on rusty water

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — East Irvine Street resident Jennifer Stoner and a few of her neighbors have been asking questions, but the answer seems to be as clear as rusty water.

The homes have been experiencing discolored water for “almost two years now” Stoner said.

“Flushing the hydrants is not enough,” Stoner said. “It’s not fixing the problem. They tell me they’ll flush the hydrant, that they’re going to forgive my bill. I don’t want my bills forgiven. I want clean water. I have three children, and they’re telling me that this water is safe.”

The water leaves a stain in her bathtub and toilet that bleach will not remove, she said.

“Sometimes you can see the rust (in the water), or when you take a shower, you can smell it,” Stoner said.

Richmond Utilities workers have been out on a daily basis flushing hydrants for all those who call.

“If they don’t call us, we won’t know about it,” said Scott Althauser, Richmond Utilities superintendent.

“We have a couple of areas in town where we have some old pipes. Unfortunately, we have some areas of town where there are dead-end lines. The water sits in those lines not used and we do everything we can to manually force that water out.”

Aside from flushing hydrants, city utility workers also are working to replace some old lines.

To completely alleviate the problem, “We either have to replace the old lines or we have a new process at the water (treatment) plant to coat the lines,” Althauser said. “They are many things that we’re doing. The water is being tested regularly. We want to provide clean water to our residents.”

During Tuesday’s city commission work session, Althauser said similar problems had been reported on Aspen Avenue and Longview Drive. New water lines have been installed on Aspen and will be installed on Longview in the near future, he said.

Anyone who is experiencing rusty water may call Richmond Utilities at 623-2323 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 369-5389 for calls after hours or on weekends.