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Water safe despite color

Residents of Bonne Terre who have noticed strange discoloration and odd smells in their water should not be worried about the safety of the water supply, according to city officials.

Bonne Terre City Adminstrator Jim Eaton said the source of the problem is known and is currently being worked on by third-party technicians under the supervision of city employees.

“We put in a new system to treat radionuclides,” Eaton said. “The system has malfunctioned ever since it was put in. We currently have the manufacturer here and they’re running down the troubles.”

Eaton said the problem with the system originates in the system’s installation by a third-party contractor.

“In the backflushing process, there’s a valve that was probably adjusted wrong and it was discharging some of the backwashing material,” he said.

Eaton said city officials are well aware of the odd color in the water, having seen photos brought in by concerned residents. He said that while the water may look off, samples sent to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources have consistently shown that the water is safe for human use.

“DNR from Poplar Bluff was here last week,” Eaton said. “They were taking samples and monitoring the progress and have been requesting we send in samples. And nobody there has said that it’s unsafe to use the water.”

The issues with water seem to center around the distribution point where the faulty system resides at the city park.

“The Mansion Hill area, which is an area we’re also currently working on is apparently not affected,” Eaton said. “It’s primarily been in areas that are close to that particular distribution point.”

Eaton said the situation is unfortunate, but the city installed the system to comply with DNR mandates, and the error occured during installation by an outside company.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “The only thing we can say is that it is by DNR mandate that we have to remove radionuclides from the system.”

Unrelated to the discoloration seen in the area around the city park, the city will be installing a similar system in the Mansion Hill area in coming weeks that will require a boil water order for a brief time.

He added the correctional facility in Bonne Terre is also unaffected by the water issue.

For more information about the quality of your water, contact Bonne Terre City Hall at 573-358-2254.

Discoloration in the water of Bonne Terre residents have caused concern, but city officials say the water is safe according to Department of Natural Resources testing.

Discoloration in the water of Bonne Terre residents have caused concern, but city officials say the water is safe according to Department of Natural Resources testing.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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