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Fortville residents concerned over discolored water, city says it's safe to drink and use

Fortville Discolored Water
Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-20 18:56:43-04

FORTVILLE — Fortville residents are concerned about dark yellow, brownish water they say has been coming out of their faucets on and off for months.

Fortville Waterworks tells WRTV that the water is safe to drink and use, but residents say they aren't sure if they trust it.

"I was running a bath for my kids and the whole entire bathtub was filled with really yucky, yellow looking water," Fortville resident Allison Hall said.

She says the water didn't have a smell, so she wasn't sure on why it would be discolored, but she still didn't want to bath her kids in it.

Rhonda Skaggs has had the same issue, she said she won't even give the water from her faucets to her dogs.

"I've been buying bottled water," Skaggs said. "You wonder what's going on with it."

The local water department says the water, although discolored, is safe to drink. But residents say they don't feel comfortable drinking it or using it for other purposes.

Several Fortville residents who WRTV spoke with say they are relying on bottled water for cooking and drinking.


"It just makes me a little nervous to cook at home and stuff ," Hall said. "So we've been kind of just living off of bottled water for now. I am kind of waiting to see if they're going to do anything at the water plant or what is going to happen."

Some residents told WRTV the water has discolored their clothes and made their hair feel grimy.

They're concerned about brushing their teeth with it.

"It just kept pouring out gunky thick yellow and I was like yeah I'm not going to brush my teeth here today," Fortville resident, Haile Loring said.

Fortville Waterworks says residents can run the water to clear it out, but that running the water will also contribute to the problem and reason behind why they are experiencing the discoloration.

The water is safe to drink. Due to high demand from increased lawn irrigation our water treatment facility is being stretched to its limits. The occasional discoloration is caused by less detention time to allow the iron to settle out. Customers can let their water run to clear it out, but it also contributes to the problem by using more.
David Thompson Fortville Water Works Water and Wastewater Treatment

Still residents said they won't be drinking it even though the water department says it's safe.

"I personally will not be drinking it. I saved a bottle from when it ran like that Sunday and it's since settled and there is an incredible amount of rust in the bottom of that bottle. I personally don't feel safe drinking it so until that's settled I won't be using it," Hall said.

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The water department says they're in the final stages of construction at the new water treatment plant, which should alleviate the issue.

We are currently approaching the final stages of our new water treatment plant construction which will alleviate this issue. Unfortunately, it doesn't address the problem of water waste. We have implemented a Water Conservation Watering Schedule which is posted on our website, and we notified customers by mail to increase awareness. Available water pressure for fire protection and adequate supply in case of a large water leak aren't considered by most people but go hand in hand with providing safe drinking water.
David Thompson Fortville Water Works Water and Wastewater Treatment