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More brown coloring and even metallic particles showing up in water

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Many residents throughout the Utica area are once again reporting dark brown water coming out of the faucets of their homes, the next in a long series of water issues that have been seen throughout the Mohawk Valley in recent weeks.

West Uticans in particular have recently begun to see discolored water in their homes, but officials with the Mohawk Valley Water Authority claim it's not because of high manganese levels in the Hinckley Reservoir water supply.

Those manganese levels have come down well below the accepted level of .05 parts per million to .016, filtered as of Tuesday morning.

While manganese is a natural element found in water, food, soil and air, many area residents have expressed concern when learning that studies such as those by the National Institute of Environmental Health Services showed that long-term exposure to high levels of manganese can result in damage to areas of the brain that control body movements.

These findings have resulted in federal standards that limit the amount of manganese in drinking water.

However, on Monday, many West Uticans were reporting discolored water. Officials with the Water Authority say the problem has nothing to do with manganese, but rather, some routine system maintenance happening at the Psychiatric Center in West Utica.

"We had an event in West Utica yesterday," said Patrick Becher, Executive Director of the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. "The Psychiatric Center was testing a fire pump and I guess it came on and off rather abruptly and stirred a lot of things up, and that's not something we typically see when they're doing their annual testing over there."

Some residents even reported seeing actual solid metallic looking sediment in their water. Becher says he believes that could be manganese left over in the system, and that you probably shouldn't ingest the solid particles you may be seeing.

However, if those solid metallic particles that officials say not to ingest are found in the water, what does that mean for the drinking water?

In response to that, Becher says that he does not recommend drinking the water if such items are present in it.

While officials said they believe the manganese problem appears to be under control now, it will be a few more days before what's left over in the system is used and cleared out. Becher says what's behind that is clear water.

Officials at Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center have not returned our calls as of this writing.

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