HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Cloudy, discolored tap water has homeowners in several cities around the Birmingham area concerned. There are complaints about water looking brownish yellow and even green in some areas. The Birmingham Water Works Board says it looks bad, but it is safe to drink.
Battalion Chief Chris Mullins with the Mountain Brook Fire Department says something like this happens every year when firefighters test hydrants which they’ve been doing recently.
Mullins says it stirs up sediment that has settled to the bottom of water mains and some of that sediment makes it way to household faucets.
Birmingham Water Works Board spokesperson Rick Jackson says fire hydrant clearing may cause discoloration sometimes but this change in tap water tint is due to an increased level of manganese and that’s related to the recent rainfall.
“Manganese is a secondary contaminant by the EPA drinking water standards and it’s naturally found in nature. So basically it’s always there, but because we had about 6 inches of rain just dump into our watershed off Highway 280 that caused those levels to rise and that’s where you see the discoloration come in,” said Rick Jackson, Birmingham Water Works Board. “It is completely safe, but when you look at it you may be like eeugh.. And we’re asking everyone to just be patient with us.”
“We hope to have this problem resolved within the next day or so. Hopefully no longer than that. But if not just be patient,” said Jackson.
Vestavia Hills resident Stacy Eddy is worried about whether it could impact her two young children.
“I’m concerned about them drinking water that could have chemicals in it or dirt in it actually. That’s one of my big, big concerns,”said Eddy. “Today it looks better. Yesterday it was way more yellow….It was way more yellow and brown looking and mine didn’t look green. Some people said their’s looked green. My does not it looked brown.”
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