GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Jessie Munoz says she and her neighbors have been dealing with rust-colored water on and off for years.
“Once every couple of months,” she said, “our water, we’d run it, and it would come out rusty.”
The most recent incident, she says, has been going on for three weeks.
“I know a couple of neighbors have complained about getting sick through all this.”
The city has heard the concerns and responded by cleaning out the neighborhood pipes about a week ago.
“Our water is safe to drink,” said Fred Jones, Garden City’s Water Resource Manager. “A lot of these issues are aesthetic issues, and we like to know about those as well, because we will do everything we can to correct those.”
Minerals like iron build up in the pipes over time. The city disinfects water with chlorine, which helps oxidize the iron and give the water a rust color. The city says running the water will help clear that out and there’s little cause for concern.
That’s not a comfort for Munoz, who has been showering and cleaning dishes at her daughter’s house.
“I won’t touch it,” she said. “It’s still yellow. It looks horrible.”
City officials showed KSN that water coming out of the main looks clear.
In the homes, it’s a different story.
“[A] couple of evenings, I ran it an hour, hour and a half solid,” said Munoz, “and it never cleared up. Something needs to be done.”
Munoz’s neighbors are in the same situation, like Melissa Guerrero’s mother.
“My mother has flushed and flushed,” said Guerrero. “We ran water, and it still has the rust. In the years, it has thickened.”
The city says they’ve worked to clean up the city lines, but if the issue is within the home, there’s not much they can do.
“We’ll work with them on that,” said Jones, “but we can’t take care of their personal plumbing.”
Residents said they want the city to replace the pipes entirely. City officials say they only replace pipes that have broken or have become too brittle.