“The stench is still there,” resident Darrell Howell said at Monday night’s council work session. “Animals in the animal shelter get better treatment than us.”
Howell said at times his water smells like water in a pool; other times the water has a foul smell like sewage, and he continues to question whether the water residents are receiving is safe to drink.
Another woman also complained about the smell of the water, but Mayor Bill Hereford said “smell is subjective.”
He assured residents the water the city supplies to residents is safe to use and drink.
“Nobody is saying there still is not discolored water,” Hereford added. “We’re making progress, and we are still going to work on this problem until we get it solved.”
Howell said the city has done a poor job informing residents about what is being done, and residents are kept in the dark about the situation.
“I talked to people daily,” he said. “Some people didn’t even know they had water out there (that the city supplies water to residents with the discolored water problem.)”
Byron Wood, a contract engineer with Municipal Consultants, said the discolored water problem is getting better and the chemicals used are meant to coat water lines and reduce the discoloration of water.
“It is used as a corrosion prohibitor, not for contamination,” Wood said after Howell expressed concerns about possible lead contamination with the water. “The city is doing lead testing as set forth by ADEM and the EPA.”
Wood suggests residents turn their water on so water moves slowly through their pipes. He said the low flow will allow the chemicals to do what they are supposed to do.
“They produce an egg shell coating that keeps the cast iron from discoloring the water,” Wood said. “It takes a slow flow.”
He said some pipes in the Mill Village, where residents continue to receive discolored water, are more than 70-years old. The city has plans to replace some of the aging pipes.
“I’m sure some of the service lines (between the meters and residences) haven’t been replaced either,” Wood said.
Councilman Donnie Guinn said it is best for the city to send out a notice telling residents what to do to prevent their water from becoming discolored.
“We need to send simple directions out,” he said.
Guinn also said the city needs to look for emergency funds and grants to replace the aging water lines in certain parts of the city.
In other matters at council meeting that followed the work session, the council:
• Appointed Jay Jenkins as the District 1 Council representative.
• Tabled the consideration to condemned property located at 801 21st Street North.
• Approved to accept bids to lease a backhoe loader for the Utility Department.
• Approved a resolution to adjust water bills for 19 water customers still receiving discolored water.
• Approved a proclamation to recognize the Pell City MacDonald’s 20th anniversary.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.