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Mohawk Valley Water Authority still unsure how to fix brown water problem

By WKTV News

MOHAWK VALLEY, N.Y. (WKTV) - After taking samples for two weeks, officials with the Mohawk Valley Water Authority continue to scratch their heads.

While they now have an answer as to why the water is brown, when it will be fixed still remains to be seen.

"Every time I call and ask, they say it should be fixed by the end of that day," said Utica resident Jim Parker.

The Mohawk Valley Water Authority says the discoloration is caused by something in the system stirring up iron content. What that something is and where the problem originated, however, is unknown.

"We've been having to buy bottled water," Parker said. "It's another expense as well as inconvenience. They say it's safe to drink, but it's brown. Makes you not want to drink it."

"We're confident we're gonna get it," said Patrick Becher of the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. "We understand people are frustrated and rightly so."

Workers have been making changes to the system over the past couple of months, getting ready for new regulations. That could have something to do with the brown water we've been seeing these past two weeks.

"We've done everything we can," Becher said. "Something in the system is stirring the iron content up and we've been investigating it around the clock now."

The bad news is that the waiting game continues. The good news is that it is not a bacterial problem.

"The first question people have - is it safe to drink?" Becher said. "If it's slightly discolored, it's safe to drink. There is no health hazard. If it's very dark, you don't want to do laundry with it. You should avoid hot water if you can, so you don't get it in your hot water tank."

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