Water Color in Big Spring Has Locals Worried

Water Color in Big Spring Has Locals Worried

BIG SPRING, TX (KWES) - It's the last thing you expect to see when you turn on the faucet, orange and brown water. Some people in Big Spring say that's exactly what's been coming out of their taps. They're scared the water is contaminated with sewage, but NewsWest 9 went to a waste water treatment plant and found out that's not the case. Erica Rathell says the water has left stains in her shower and washing machine.

"The water literally turned them brown," said Erica Rathell, a Big Spring Resident.

When NewsWest 9 stopped by, the water that came out of the faucet was clear and seemed normal, but she says the disturbing color and smell comes and goes.

"It smelled so bad, I don't even want to take a shower. I don't even want to put my kids in there," said Rathell.

"It's not the water that CRMWD delivers to our customers," said John W. Grant, General Manager at the Colorado River Municipal Water District.

Water travels to the Big Spring sewage plant and then heads to the Colorado River Municipal Water District. They treat and clean it and then supply it back to Big Spring, Stanton, Midland, and Odessa. So why are so many Big Spring residents seeing orange and brown colored water?

"You see this in a lot of cities with older water distribution systems inside the city. A lot of those systems and those pipes were put in the ground and some of them are 60 and 70 years old," said Grant.

CRMWD says it's those old and out dated pipes that are to blame for the discolored and smelly water residents are worried about.

"Over the years they've just built up a corrosion on the inside of the pipe and sometimes a temperature change or maybe a little chemical difference can break loose some of that build up, some of that corrosion on the inside of the pipe," said Grant.

"I'm hearing constantly from people saying that their water is bad and they're taking showers in orange and brown water," said Rathell.

So what do you do if your water is turning up with that rustic color?

"They ought to call their city, you know the city water department and just make the city aware of that and I'm sure that they will come out and investigate it," said Grant.

Most of the time, the city will flush the pipes and that will solve the problem, but as for the treatment process of the water...

"There was no treatment process in place before we put this plant in operation. This plant has helped improve the quality of water we deliver to our customers," said Grant.

NewsWest 9 did reach out to the Big Spring Public Works Department but they did not have time to meet because they've been so busy repairing water lines.