RALEIGH: Utility company begins work on cleaning 'nasty water' - WRBL

Utility company begins work on cleaning 'nasty water'

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Toby Hilton pours out the contents of his home's water filter. Toby Hilton pours out the contents of his home's water filter.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Plans were approved this week for a utility company to replace a water tank in a Raleigh neighborhood that the company said was too small to begin with.

For years, neighbors in Raleigh's Jordan Woods neighborhood have complained their drinking water is discolored and has a strong odor. Water sample reports filed with the state showed that the drinking water in the neighborhood has exceeded the limits for manganese for more than two decades.

The latest report in 2012 showed the levels of manganese were three times higher than state standards.

The company that provides utility service to the community, Utilities, Inc., said the problem is that the community well that provides water to the 35 homes in Jordan Woods has a 3,000-gallon tank that the company admits is too small for that size community.

Earlier this week, the company's plans were officially approved, allowing Utilities, Inc. to upgrade the neighborhood's water tank.

Utilities, Inc. said it will replace the 3,000-gallon tank with a 25,000-gallon tank. It also plans to install new filters and pumps.

Utilities, Inc. said it hopes to have to work completed by the end of June, providing families like the Hiltons with clean, clear water.

The Hiltons moved to Jordan Woods 10 months ago and said at the time their water seemed to come out clear, but over time they noticed it was staining their appliances.

"We started noticing just a couple months after moving in that water was starting to smell a little swampy," Eve Hilton explained.

The Hiltons said they checked the water filter that came with the house. When they did, black sludge poured from the filter, filled with tiny bits of sediment.

"It's destroying a four-phase, 6-month filter in a week to 2-week period of time," Toby Hilton said. "At $30 a pop to change out the filters that should be lasting 6 months."

EPA studies show excessive exposure of manganese can damage the nervous system in adults and cause learning disabilities in children. However at the levels found in the Jordan Woods water system, the state made it clear the water is not a health risk.

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Jonathan Rodriguez

Jonathan Rodriguez is an investigative reporter and member of the WNCN Investigates team. His storytelling specialty is connecting the dots to get to the truth, with a goal of delivering results for our community. If you have something you’d like WNCN to investigate, contact Jonathan.

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