Amid concern, Woodhaven mayor has tap water tested

Something smells strange Downriver and that something is the water.

Residents say the color flowing from the tap is discolored and it stinks, too.

"I have just noticed lately that when I'm doing laundry my towels have a really weird smell to them," said Kris Conkright, Brownstown Township resident.

"I actually threw them away because I got so weirded out about it."

It has been a problem since last week and it's something a lot of people are talking about.

"It's a major concern, I mean we don't want see what happened in Flint," said Mary Kittle, of Brownstown Township. "It's a major concern."

"I have a 9-month-old and a 3-year-old at home," said April Lopez, a Wyandotte resident. "So it is a concern for us."

And even though the Great Lakes Water authorities say the water has been tested and is clean and safe to drink the Downriver community of Woodhaven took additional action.

Woodhaven Mayor Patricia Odette had water samples tested at an independent lab - they came back negative for E.coli and coliform bacteria.

"We just did testing to make sure the water is safe, to ensure the water is okay," said Tim Neighbors, Woodhaven water director.

City officials still trying to figure out what's causing the sulfur-like smell.

"I'm not sure what tests we're going to perform next," said Neighbors. "I will be consulting with the city administration and mayor and reaching out to the Great Lakes Water Authority as well. Bacteria and E.coli, everything came back negative - and those are your heavy hitters that you have to be concerned about."

WEB UPDATE (8 p.m.) Cheryl Porter of the Great Lakes Water Authority issued a statement on the situation:

 "Taste and odor are associated with a spike in turbidity in the source water. When taste and odor issues were raised in a number of Downriver communities, the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) expanded its testing, increasing the number of samples being taken at the Southwest Water Treatment Facility (which serves the communities affected) and within the distribution system. Results of this increased testing have all shown that the water meets the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory standards and is safe.

"Testing has also been completed for bacteria, and all results have returned negative for bacteria in the water. In addition we tested the Southwest Water Treatment Facility source and tap for volatile organic chemicals. The results indicated nothing unusual about the source or tap water. Furthermore, we collected and monitored for hardness, alkalinity, turbidity, fluoride, taste and odor in sample sites within the distribution system and monitored toxicity. Results indicate the water meets water quality criteria except for taste and odor.

 "As taste and odor complaints increased, the treatment plant began feeding powdered activated carbon to mitigate taste and odor issues.

"The Authority is testing water for treatment 24/7 to ensure water quality. Typically, when we receive complaints we will increase testing to investigate cause and ensure water quality. With that in mind, all downriver communities were tested last Thursday and/or Friday. With an increase in calls, additional samples are being collected in the distribution system in those communities that have had an increase in the number of complaints.

"Concerned residents should contact their local municipality with questions or to report an issue."

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