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ECUD trying to clear up discolored water in certain areas

While there are only a couple areas in the Ector County Utility District dealing with discolored water, it is safe to drink.

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — The water has been back on in Odessa and Ector County after last week's water main break, but a couple of areas within the Ector County Utility District are still dealing with a different problem: discolored water.

The two main areas in ECUD that are affected are an area in central ECUD and one west of Murry Fly Elementary. However, ECUD's president of the board of directors, Tommy Ervin, wanted to emphasize that the water is clean and safe to drink.

"If we have spots out here that water is brown looking or dark black or something like that, some people out here say 'well, it looks like sweet tea to me,'" Ervin said. "It’s okay to drink it, but it’s just a mental thing."

So why does it look like that in the first place?

"There’s not enough chlorine residual in that particular area, so the water just starts stagnating," Ervin said. "It doesn’t get stinky, nasty and stagnate like standing water in a pond or something, but we call that in our system that the water stagnates. It's just not moving."

They are working on replacing flush valves and fire hydrants to hopefully get the water back to looking clearer.

"If we were to be able to replace those hydrants, those flush valves, we might be able to flush out more of this ugly looking water," Ervin said.

ECUD has a plan in place to get it fixed, but they are also looking for funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to help them really get moving. Ector County had received funding from ARPA, and ECUD has put in applications for part of that funding.

"We have not received any money through the ARPA funds as of yet, we do have an application there for $13.225 million," Ervin said.

While ECUD hasn't yet gotten any money from ARPA, they hope it comes soon because they are ready to start working.

"On the hydrants, we're shovel ready," Ervin said. "We can start the hydrants tomorrow. In fact, our plan that we’re doing now is we’re replacing fire hydrants now. We have about 70 hydrants in stock right now. We need about 175 to 200 more hydrants to replace out here in our system."

If you do notice that your water has become discolored and you live within the Ector County Utility District, you can call their office at 432-381-5525 so they can send someone out to take a look at the issue.

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