Knightstown residents concerned over yellow water, high iron levels

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. -- People living in Knightstown are concerned about the safety of discolored water flowing from their faucets.

According to the Knightstown Water Department, the discoloration is coming from iron that is passing through malfunctioning filters.

Dana Davis says she’s too scared to drink or bathe in the water, which is a dirty yellow color.

"It's scary. I'm not going to drink it,” Davis said. “I have to keep bottles of water all over the house. I have to have water to rinse my mouth out when I brush my teeth."

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Davis says when she was using the water to wash her hair, it started to get brittle and break off, but since she started using bottled water on her hair, it’s slowly returned to normal.

"I don't want to bathe in it. Sometimes I can go to my parents' [house] to bathe, but it's not the most ideal situation,” Davis said. “With all this stuff that happened in Flint, Michigan I don't think this is something we can play around with."

Davis isn’t the only one with problems. Local businesses have had major issues with the discolored water.

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Gina Haucha owns Redbone’s Pizza and says the water has gotten so bad that the Sprite in their soda fountain now comes out looking like orange drink.

They’ve also had to find ways to clean off their vegetables and keep their bathrooms clean, with the iron-filled water.

“The water looks dirty all the time, it’s never clear,” Haucha said. “It stains our toilets. It doesn’t look good as an owner of a business when someone goes to the bathroom and it looks like it’s never been cleaned.”

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In a statement issued Wednesday, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management says the water is safe to drink and bathe in but they are doing extra monitoring in Knightstown.

"Based on the samples IDEM is receiving from the Knightstown Water Department, the water is safe for drinking and bathing. The brownish color is coming from iron that is passing through malfunctioning filters. IDEM Drinking Water staff has required extra monitoring, and is in contact with the city as well as the contractor who is helping repair the system. "

The City of Knightstown also issued a statement saying they are aware of the issue and working to fix it. 

"We are aware of the problem and are taking all possible steps to remedy the situation.  We continue to test the water daily and it meets all standards for public consumption.  We appreciate our customer’s patience as we work to continue to provide safe water to the community."

The town says they have hired a private contractor to help make repairs to the malfunctioning filters and they hope to have them fixed by June 22.

To see what the water quality is in your area, visit the Indiana Drinking Water database.

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