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Feb
02

Residents Angry About Brown, Smelly Water
Posted at WFTV News 9 at 6:13 pm EDT June 30, 2009

CHULUOTA, Fla. — Tap water is supposed to be clear, but in Chuluota sometimes it’s brown. It’s the newest and most disgusting development in the city’s long-standing fight with the water company, Aqua Utilities and the health department is investigating. Brown water is bad enough, but that’s not the only problem people have with the company. Sky-high water bills have also been an on-going frustration, but residents say the undrinkable water frustrates them most.Aqua Utilities flushes its pipes from a spigot frequently and residents suspect that may be part of the problem.The water is always hit or miss at Carol Wells’ house. By late morning, it was running mostly clear, but hours earlier, the water was brownish-gray in color and smelled of rotten egg.”We shouldn’t be paying the high rates that we pay now for that kind of water. And the concerns are our health,” she said.The kitchen isn’t the only place people have to deal with the bad water. They also have to use it brush their teeth, use it in their toilets and bathe with it.The health concerns are so serious that both the Departments of Health and Environmental Protection are trying to figure out what was in the water.Wells says the problem is urgent.”I think someone needs to come here and see it for themselves, smell it for themselves,” she said.An Aqua Utilities worker admitted to Eyewitness News that he had been flushing pipes Tuesday before driving off.Company officials say until they test the water, they have absolutely no idea what could’ve caused it to turn brown.Many residents say they are sick of waiting for explanations, while being forced to pay for brown water.”Well, we need a different company. We need someone to step in and take care of this problem because they haven’t done it,” said Wells.Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] officials, who monitor the water there, say none of their regular monthly tests on Aqua Utilities water have had results bad enough to shut off the taps.The DEP and Aqua Utilities say they want people who do have problems to call them in.Aqua Utilities has had problems, including ongoing reports of high water bills and meter problems dating back to 2007.The company has had the most trouble in Chuluota. Chulouta was exempt from the 62 percent rate hike the state granted the company in March.

To read the original story at WFTV, go here.

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