CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WHAS11) – Frustrations are running high for residents Roger and Debbie Hilbert after morning tasks of brushing teeth and drawing a bath were ruined by brown water.
"All I know is it just looks rusty and you know, like sediment, brown rust I don’t have a clue what's in it," Roger Hilbert said.
The Hilbert's are not alone, the city of Charlestown is doing a flush of the water system over three days this week after complaints of dirty water in one part of town.
It's something the Hilbert’s have been dealing with for decades.
"Been here 24 years," Hilbert said. "Off and on we have problems pretty much all the time, about every three or four months if they are flushing or they've got a line broken or whatever you'll get the sediment and the dirty water."
Hilbert says they have recently added their own filtration system to the house, but they are going through those filters very quickly.
"It’s aesthetically not pleasing, by looks, but it is just a natural mineral," Mike Perry, Director of Utilities for the City of Charlestown, said.
Perry says the discolored water is caused by 70 to 80 years of natural mineral manganese build up in the system. An issue they are well aware of and have been working to find solutions for.
"We have done some replacements in certain areas and we are looking at a project now which would be installing loops in the system in order to get rid of dead ends to keep water flowing, which will help keep from having the buildup and things like that there is some of those being looked at right now," Perry said. "We have been trying to do as much as possible to help alleviate the problem and it has worked in some areas."
It may not be the city's problem for much longer, as Indiana American Water has been passing out brochures that mention a possible purchase of the Charlestown water system to address local water quality concerns and upgrade aging water pipes and infrastructure. But the potential purchase faces some opposition from Charlestown residents who are petitioning against the outsourcing of water for a number of concerns, including rate hikes. There was a public meeting held back in May.
The Hilbert’s say they don't care what the solution is but are sick of dealing with brown water.
"We'd like to have clean water all the time," Debbie said.
The next Charlestown City Council meeting is next Monday, July 3rd. The water issue is not currently on the agenda, but we're told some residents plan to bring in it up in the public comment time.