Henrico crews say discolored water is not a health concern

Henrico crews say discolored water is not a health concern

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you live in Henrico's Lakeside area, be assured - the water is safe to drink.

Officials in the Department of Public Utilities say the tap water is now running clear, as of before noon Tuesday. Some neighbors called NBC12, concerned about brown-colored water running from their faucets.

Debbie Burnette has lived on Parkside Avenue for 27 years. Debbie says she had a pretty stomach-turning surprise when she attempted to brush her teeth.

"It was just like getting a glass of strained mud," Debbie described of the sink water.

About two dozen neighbors reported brown tap water to Henrico's Department of Public Utilities, posting pictures online and calling the county. The department's director, Arthur Petrini, says crews immediately started flushing lines near the streets where people reported complaints, mainly in the Lakeside area.

Petrini says even though the water was brown, it was always safe to drink. He says crews were working on nearby water lines, and that disrupted sediment and rust at the bottom of the pipe. That leached into the drinking water. However, Petrini says this is not harmful, just not common.

"As far as health, or bacteria or other issues, there are no other issues. It's strictly an aesthetic issue," said Petrini.

Petrini says the chlorine level still tests ten times above the satisfactory level, and by no means is this anything like the Flint Water Crisis.

"This is not a Flint, Michigan situation. We properly treat our water at the water treatment plant. We add the proper chemicals, and our water is of a base nature, not acid. So all the conditions that existed in Flint, do not exist in Henrico."

If your water is still brown, officials say to run cold water at full force for twenty minutes.

"You can open several hydrants, or open the outside tap on the side of a house… That should clear it up," continued Petrini.

If that doesn't clear the tap, give the county another call at 804-727-8700. County officials say crews will be dispatched to your area immediately. Workers will also continue flushing water through the night, just as a precaution.

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