Another Mid-Michigan city experiences water issues - WNEM TV 5

Another Mid-Michigan city experiences water issues

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
VASSAR, MI (WNEM) -

Another Mid-Michigan city is dealing with its own water issues.

After a dramatic decrease in demand recently, system-wide issues began springing up all over Vassar, causing many residents to grow concerned.

Brian Chapman, Vassar city manager, lives in Vassar and he drinks the city's tap water.

The city has been experiencing some water woes.

"There's been concerns about discoloration. There's been concerns about fluoride. There's some concerns about chlorine," Chapman said.

He said the issues, in part, are the result of a business leaving town. The business was once a foundry that used 80 percent of the water in the system.

Chapman said that business kept the water moving.

The foundry closed in 2012 and since then the pace of water has slowed to a crawl, allowing iron in the ground water to settle in the pipes. That has caused rust to form.

"We have a low-flow system now mixed with a high iron content," Chapman said.

He said they treat the problem by adding chlorine, but it turns the iron particles orange.

Chapman wants the people of Vassar to contact him if there's a problem with their tap water.

"If you do have discoloration, odor, or taste issues, you need to call City Hall so we can send a crew out there to help resolve the problem," Chapman said.

Carl Miller, with the Department of Public Works in Vassar, said there's a couple of options to improve the water quality, but it comes with a price.

Miller said adding chlorine to the water can be a problem because the city gets it's water from underground wells. Well water is high in iron and the chlorine makes the iron rust.

"We have iron issues here. That's where you're getting the red water complaints from. Because we have dissolved iron in the water and when you add this chlorine to it, it's an oxidizer, hence the sediment that you see out there in the system," Miller said.

The rust isn't improving.

"If you happen to have your faucet on at that time when that slug of rust water comes through, it's in your house. That's why this person might have a complaint and this one didn't. Because you just happen to have your faucet open when the slug came through and they didn't, Miller said.

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