With many residents seeing a murky, odorous quality to their water over the past two days, Sedalia Water Department officials said they are working hard to rectify the situation and hope to have it resolved by Friday.
According to Water Department Manager Charles Brosch, some musty water from Spring Fork Lake managed to enter the system, causing the issue. While the water department’s primary water source are deep wells in various locations, Spring Fork Lake does contribute to the supply.
“From time to time, as we are doing right now, we blend this water, a little bit of lake water along with our wells,” Brosch said. “You will get decayed vegetation and algae blooms. Anytime you are messing with a surface water supply, you get these kinds of problem.”
The water from Sping Fork Lake is treated and bacteria within the water are at acceptable levels, Brosch said. Despite the murkiness, it is safe to drink. Brosch added that in his 40 years with the water department, this sort of problem has happened a dozen times.
“You get a big batch of it come in and it’s almost more than what the plant can handle,” Brosch said. “The guys tried to treat it, but they just couldn’t handle it. What they should have done is cut back on the lake water and turn the well water up, but they didn’t, and some of the water managed to get through on them and now we are dealing with this taste and odor problem.”
The department plans to have the water quality issues rectified by Friday.
“We have shut the lake off — we are on straight well water,” Brosch said. “We are flushing hydrants throughout the system and it will take several days to days to get it out of the system and get all the well water worked back in, but eventually it will be gone.”
As Sedalia’s drinking water comes from many sources, those in close proximity to a well are likely not affected as much as other areas. Brosch said giving up Spring Fork Lake as a water source is up for discussion at this point.
“We have discussed discontinuing the use of Spring Fork Lake completely, because of the problems you run into with surface water,” Brosch said. “I plan to discuss that at our next board meeting. I don’t know, but I plan to discuss it pretty soon.”
For further information, contact the Sedalia Water Department at 826-1234.