Dirty Water Causing Problems For Coweta Residents

Tuesday, June 8th 2010, 4:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley & Terry Hood, The News On 6 

COWETA, OK -- A problem with the water in Coweta is causing residents a lot of headaches. The city says its getting the problem under control but homeowners feel they're getting the run around.

"It's brown. It looks like lake water when you go to take a bath," said Maureen Stegge, Coweta resident.

"It's really gross," said Vicki Elless, another Coweta resident.

Vicki Elless and Maureen Stegge have a problem with their water.

"I ran bath water and it's so dark that it looks like tea," Elless said. "I might as well bathe my children at Fort Gibson Lake.

Elless was so upset she took a picture on Monday. It was supposed to be clear bath water but, instead, you could barely see to the bottom of the tub. Once the water has drained, a dirty residue can be found ringing around the inside of the tub.

"And if you fill up a glass of water and let it set there will be about that much sediment at the bottom of the glass after a couple of hours," she said.

The dirty water has struck several neighborhoods in Coweta. They say last week's heavy rain washed a mineral deposit called manganese from the soil into the Verdigris River.

The city's old water treatment center can't filter out manganese and it eventually makes it into the water supply.

"This time of year it would not be unusual to have one or two outbreaks of manganese," said Mike Kyser, Coweta City Engineer.

Mike Kyser, Coweta City engineer, says they've flushed out most of the mineral deposit from the system and the water should clear as the week continues.

Maureen Stegge has lived in Coweta for 11 years.  She says this is common problem and hopes the city gets it straightened out.

It's very frustrating," Stegge said. "I would imagine, I could understand there being a problem every once in a while but for eleven years, continually, no, I don't see why there's a reason for it."

The city of Coweta is in the middle of a $4 million project to install new water lines. It's also in the beginning stages of designing a new water treatment plant that will be able to filter out the mineral deposit. The plant should be open in 18 months.