by Doris Wolf
WATERLOO – There’s nothing wrong with the water in Waterloo.
That’s the message village officials would like to get out to village residents.
Jim Bromka, head of the Waterloo water treatment plant, (CLICK FOR AUDIO) said unusual climate conditions resulted in warm water entering the village system, causing the water to have an unusual taste and smell.
Bromka said when the problem was recognized, steps immediately were taken to purify the water going into the village system. But about 1/2 million gallons already were in the system, causing the water coming from household taps to have an unusual taste and smell.
“We want to emphasize that the water poses no danger to the public,” said Mayor Ted Young. (CLICK OR AUDIO) “The village water is safe to drink; it just has a strong odor. We ask people to just bear with us for the next few days, Mother Nature has not been kind to us.”
Bromka said the problem started on Sunday evening, when strong south winds pushed a huge volume of warm water north in Seneca Lake. The warm water extended to a depth of 80 feet, 20 feet deeper than the village water plant’s intake valves, and the warm water, with its unusual taste and smell infiltrated the village system.
Water plant workers tried to clear the “awful taste and odor” first with chlorine oxide but it continued. On Monday, Bromka said, he dumped the filters out and reformatted them, adding carbon to remove the bad taste. By Tuesday evening, the problem had been cleared, Bromka said, so new water entering the system should be back to normal. But it will take several days for the taste and odor to dissipate from the water that already had entered the system.
He urged people who are concerned about their water to contact the village office at 315 539 9131.
Village Administrator Don Northrup (CLICK FOR AUDIO) said details of the event already have been forwarded to the village’s engineering firm for information and suggestions on how to remedy the problem. “Unfortunately the solution will involve enhancements to the water plant that will be costly to add,” he said. The problem will be discussed by the village board at an upcoming meeting, Northrup said.
Young noted that the lake typically “turns over” each year, but this year’s event came earlier and with greater severity than before.
Bromka agreed. “The warm winter and other unique circumstances produced this unexpected event,” he said. “I have never tasted such bad water in the 26 years I have worked for the village.”
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