World | news

The Mayor Says This Water Is Safe To Drink - But Would You?

We're lucky where we are. When we run a tap we expect water to come out - clear and drinkable. Some towns in the US aren't quite as lucky as others, and residents of Leadwood, Missouri woke up to find something startling in their sinks.

Douglas Evans turn on his tap and brown, filthy water came pouring out. He turned it off, and tried another sink - same problem. No matter how long he let it run, more and more brown water just came out. It wasn't a problem unique to his house either, turns out residents all over the town were experiencing the same thing, with no end in sight.


Frustratingly the problem doesn't even seem consistent. Sometimes the water runs clean. Evans rejoiced when his water finally cleared up, only to have it splutter gunk back up.

"It's not today, but it may tomorrow, and it might be like that for a week," he told Fox News reporters.

It's not just an appearance issue, the water smells foul.

Brown Water

"If you try to take a shower in the hot water, you're standing in a steamy shower, it's unbearable," Evans said. "You want a set of swimmer's nose plugs on to take a bath."

Residents understandably complained, which led to an investigation into how the town cleans its water supply. That's where a big problem was discovered.

The last time the town's water tank was inspected was 17 years ago. That last time it was cleaned? Never. There's no record of the water tank having ever been cleaned.

Even the inspection, the bare minimum that the town could do to ensure safe drinking water, wasn't a glowing report.

"The tank was in bad shape. (They said) that we needed new tanks," Mayor Dennis Parks said.


Water tanks are a huge part of providing smaller towns with water, and Leadwood is no different, but there's no government regulation requiring towns to clean the tanks.

Ron Perrin runs a company specializing in cleaning water storage tanks, he's seen just how bad it can get.

"Most tanks we see have three inches or less (of sediment build up) but every once in a while we find a facility that has feet instead of inches," he said.

Sources News Network

The mayor of Leadwood said that water tests have come back and the water, although disgusting, is considered safe to drink. He says the water only comes out brown when stuff gets "stirred up."

I'm not sure that's going to be a big consolation to the residents of Leadwood.