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CALL 6: More dirty water reports come in

Posted at 5:04 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 18:52:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Call 6 Investigation into the safety of your drinking water struck a nerve with a lot of people.

Since our report on Monday, homeowners have been emailing us pictures of discolored water, and water with brown or white residue.

CALL 6 | Drinking water quality answers elusive

Vanessa Canchola of Greenwood sent us this picture of white residue that appears on her pots after boiling.

Indiana American Water told Call 6 Investigates that white residue is typically due to hard water, mostly calcium and magnesium, or issues with home water heaters.

Some Indiana American Water customers in Kokomo also complained about yellow water.

"We are currently doing flushing of our water mains in the Kokomo area through July 8," said spokesperson Joe Loughmiller. "Water main flushing is considered a best management practice in the water utility industry that helps enhance water quality by scouring out sediment build up in water mains and also to help ensure fire hydrants are being operated and checked and are in good working order."

Discolored drinking water can be caused by a number of things including air bubbles, sediment and flushing in water mains, or problems with your own internal plumbing and hot water heaters.

Debbie Gregory told us about water with a "moldy, grassy" smell at the 91st and Towne area in Marion County.

Citizens Energy told Call 6 Investigates they are experiencing some taste and odor issues related to algae blooms in the White River.

"The water is perfectly safe to drink," said Citizens Energy spokesperson Dan Considine. "Citizens is utilizing carbon filtering and we expect the problem to dissipate over time. If customers notice an unusual smell or taste to their water, please call us at 317-924-3311."

Dan Moran, water quality manager for water production operations at Citizens Energy, said most people who live in Indianapolis get their water from the White River.

"We have a lot of checks and balances in the process," said Moran. "That goes all the way from sampling the water coming into the plant, but also upstream and up the river."

Mark Gray, lab services manager for Citizens, said the biggest threat to drinking water is actually gasoline and diesel fuel.

"A lot of the current concerns we have are dictated by accidents," said Gray. "That would be a car in the canal or having a fuel leak in one of the tributaries that lead to one of our treatment plants."

Call 6 Investigates heard from several families impacted by brown or yellow water in Brownsburg.

"Our water is produced from well water which has high concentrates of iron," said Brownsburg Water Superintendent Mike Good. "Our water is treated by pressurized water treatment plants and treated with chlorine for a disinfectant. Occasionally we get a build-up of iron in our water mains and a piece will break off and cause discolored water in an area."

People with complaints should contact the utility office so the town can investigate.

"We normally flush a hydrant close to the residence until the water is clear," said Good. "Once the water is clear we will flush out the meter until the clear water is running through it."

Good said their water has been in compliance with drinking water standards.

Kristen Posey of Greenfield has noticed a brown color to her water, seen in the picture below, on and off for months.

Call 6 Investigates reached out to the Greenfield city utility for more information and they requested the exact date and location of the brown water.

If you think your water is discolored due to water mains being flushed, you can let the water run for several minutes on cold.


If you’re concerned about the safety of your water, you can call the utility directly, the county health department, IDEM or the Indiana State Department of Health .

READ MORE | CALL 6: Drinking water quality answers elusive