ITHACA, N.Y. — Some Ithaca residents have been dealing with discolored water — yellow, brown, red — for more than a week, something the city says it’s working hard to fix.
Officials have said that the discoloration is caused by normally stable rust deposits on the inside of the pipes that has become loose. The water is safe to drink and use, multiple city officials have said.
While it’s not exactly clear why the rust has become loose, officials from the Department of Public Works have said it could have been cause by the factors such as warm summer water temperatures dissolving rust more readily, chemical feeds at the new water treatment plant that need adjusting, and water flowing through pipes faster than usual due to a need for more landscape irrigation during the dry summer months.
In a social media post late Monday night, Mayor Svante Myrick said the city has been getting fewer complaints about water and many complaints have been resolved.
Myrick said in his post that the following is being done this week to continue addressing people’s concerns and to fix the problem:
— The City added an additional pre-treatment point at the raw water intake at the reservoir. This will go online on Tuesday as soon as we receive the sodium permanganate that is needed. This should allow us to settle out more of the iron and manganese that is present in the raw water and will help reduce the odors. Once that process begins, we will wait about a week for the system to reach equilibrium before making further process adjustments.
— The City will continue to flush hydrants to remove the discolored water from the system.
— The City is in regular communication with the County Health Department, who is reviewing test results and advising on actions to take, including additional testing. We are complying with all of the health department’s requirements.
— The City will be increasing the amount of testing for iron and manganese, color and turbidity, temperature, and orthophosphate levels throughout the system and will be reporting to the health department until the problems subside.
To contact the City of Ithaca Water and Sewer Division to report discolored water and have nearby hydrants flushed, call 607- 272-1717