We Tested a Neighborhood's Brown Water: Here's What We Found

Stonegate residents in Irmo have had brown and cloudy water. DHEC assures its safe to drink so WLTX tests it

Irmo, SC (WLTX) - News19 is on your side as we've been looking into brown drinking water in one Midlands neighborhood. 

Residents in the Stonegate neighborhood in Irmo told us about brown water problems they say they've been having for years. Their water company, Utilities Inc., recently flushed their well water system in efforts to fix the issue. We took water samples from before and after the flushing to Access Analytical's environmental testing facility.

"We tested the samples for iron, manganese, and solids," said Access Analytical owner Ashley Amick.

The pre-flush sample had an iron level of 435 micrograms. The EPA recommended level for Iron is 300 micrograms. The pre-flush sample for manganese revealed 849 micrograms, the recommended level is only 50 micrograms.
 
The sample from after the flushing was much better in color, and had appropriate iron levels down to 82 micrograms. The manganese level was still higher than the recommended level, though, at 172 micrograms.
 
"Manganese can cause discoloration of the water, it can give water a metallic taste if you have a lot of it there," Amick said.
 
The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says the water is still safe to drink.
 
Robert Yanity, a spokesperson for Utilities Inc., says the status of the neighborhood's brown water is not acceptable for them, and that they are looking into interconnecting with the city of Columbia's water system. Yanity says they are already getting the ball rolling. 
 
"That's correct, we have contractors out there locating the lines so they can go ahead and make those engineering decisions they need to to make those interconnections," Yanity said.
 
Yanity says the interconnection would be a long process, and they do not yet have a timeline on when that may happen.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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