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Health Department Tests Smelly Water
Posted originally at WFTV News 9 at 6:24 pm EDT July 2, 2009

CHULUOTA, Fla. — The embattled Aqua Utilities is being put to the test in Chuluota. State regulators tested the water flowing into one Seminole County home Tuesday and it was black.The water was coming out of the tap clear Thursday morning as field technicians from the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection collected their samples.  The homeowner said that Tuesday the water in the home looked dark enough to be soda.  Residents said they have one wish – “to be able to drink the water and know it’s safe.”

“I’m scared of it,” said resident Carol Wells.Residents say, dark, putrid-smelling water flows from Aqua Utilities’ pipes regularly.  As proof, they sent Eyewitness News pictures of a murky-looking bathtub and toilet bowl water from a different house nearby.  “The water is safe to drink,” said Vivian Garfein of the Department of Environmental Protection.  In fact, Vivian Garfein says that despite how bad the water looks, it may be safe and darkened only by natural chemicals.  She insists, Chuluota’s water is naturally very difficult to treat and says Aqua Utilities’ tap water is tested regularly.

Residents, however say no matter how many times they’re told the water is safe, their common sense tells them otherwise.  “Well, we take it on faith that the Health Department has done studies,” said Wells.

Studies, that the Department of Health says prove that even ugly, smelly water may be drinkable.  Officials said the result of the expedited testing on Chuluota’s water should be available Friday.  The Department of Environmental Protection said the tests will look for a wide variety of chemical and bacteria in the tap water.

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