All clear on dirty water
THE council says it's safe to drink, but the unappealing colour of tap water in households across the Clarence Valley this week has left some residents with a bad taste in their mouths.
Since the weekend, people in South Grafton, Grafton and surrounds have taken to social media to voice concerns about discoloured, and at times smelly, water pouring from their taps.
Westlawn resident Lisa Crispin said her water was running clear when she turned on the tap on Monday but quickly deteriorated, becoming brown and smelly.
"It's the second time this has happened in three months," she said.
"(They) say it's safe to drink; sorry but I wouldn't drink it, I wouldn't be able to get it past my nose."
The council's works and civil director Troy Anderson said the sudden drop in temperature this week was the most likely cause for the discolouration, and assured there were no health risks associated with the water.
Micro-organisms that live in water lines may have been destroyed as the temperatures dropped quickly, and the discolouration was the result of them flushing through the system.
"It's a natural thing," he said.
"All pipes have a film in them."
Whether it's safe to drink or not, many of our readers aren't game to try it.
When The Daily Examiner took to the streets to ask people if they would drink or bathe in the dirty water, most said they would be suspicious of the discolouration.
"You probably wouldn't drink it, emotional repulsion would override rational thought," Grafton resident Chris Pritchard said.
"People also have a distrust of expert opinion; when something looks or tastes wrong, but people are told it's safe they have a hard time believing it."
Yamba resident Rebecca Beare-Bath said she believed the water was not safe to drink, and hoped to have samples tested independently to prove it.
"This has been an ongoing problem, a couple of months ago it was particularly bad," she said.
"It is my belief that it's not safe to drink.
"I know it only affects a small amount of people, but I don't believe the water we are consuming is safe without filtering."
Others said it didn't bother them.
Grafton resident Lynden Kingsley said he didn't have a problem with it, and said in his experience it happened very infrequently.
"If there was any health danger, council would be the first to issue a statement," he said.
Mr Anderson said people experiencing water discolouration should run their taps until the water cleared.
Alternatively, residents can phone the council office on 6643 0200 or email coun firstname.lastname@example.org and council staff would come and flush lines.
"The big message, though, is there is no health risk at all," he said.