FOX 8 Defenders: Northshore residents frustrated at continued dirty, brown water in homes

FOX 8 Defenders: Northshore residents frustrated at continued dirty, brown water in homes

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Ashlea Perry along with several of her neighbors noticed brown water in their homes after the H20- Guste Island Water System issued a boil water advisory. She says it’d be one thing if it was a one-time issue, but it’s been consistent.

“Because if I’m not notified in time, I have four children,” said Perry. “I’m worried about them brushing their teeth with that water bathing cooking with it.”

And as a massage therapist, brown water takes money out of Perry’s wallet. She says she was forced to cancel some appointments after spending hours at different laundry mats with several cups of bleach.

“Nobody wants to lay on this when they get a massage,” she said.

But in a written statement to customers, H20-Guste Island Water System said while "aesthetically unpleasing at times, the water is safe".

“I know I’m not drinking brown water not even tinged brown,” said Perry.

The statement explains that the utility has been making major repairs to a well, piping, and a storage tank when the emergency source of water ran out. It says it issued a precautionary boil advisory because water needed to be turned on through the system again.

The brown water issues are quote “caused by the disturbance of manganese deposits in the distribution system as a result of the changing water direction within the system."

Manganese is a natural element found in soil and rock, and on the utility's website it says they're working to treat the element in their water.

“Some have lived here over 10 years and say good luck we've been fighting this for years and nothing's being done,” said resident, Heather Cieutat.

About a year ago, Cieutat says she sprang into action after seeing her daughter in the bathtub.

“The water was just muddy water and I was panicked, and I told her ‘get out’,” said Cieutat.

So she installed an expensive, thousand-dollar water filtration system on her home, as she does not trust the taps at her house anymore.

Despite calls to the utility and beyond, Cieutat says her biggest fear is their concerns about this brown water will just be washed away.

“We want to feel like we can bath our kids, wash our dishes, drink clear, safe water and no one feels that way,” said Cieutat.

No one with the utility would speak with us on-camera, but in the statement, they apologized to consumers saying crews have been working continuously to return the system to normal.

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