Brown water causes concern in Denham Springs

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - In Denham Springs, some residents say they have complained about their water for years. From time to time they say without warning the water turns from clear, to brown. City officials say it's not appetizing to look at, but it does happen.

"It happens periodically," said Sherry Francis, who lives at Spring Tree Apartments. "There's no warning. You just walk into the kitchen, bathroom, wherever you're turning water on and it comes out brown."

Thursday, when 9 News visited Francis her water was clear. But she shared video that she'd taken from earlier this month. It shows brown water coming from the faucets and the washing machine.

"Oh it's nice and brown down there," Francis can be heard saying as she shows her bathroom tub in the video. "This is city water people."

She says the water has a dirt smell and looks like rust.

One of her neighbors said she's lived in the apartment complex for years and has never had an explanation on why the water turns colors.

Francis says when she called the Denham Springs Water Company, she was told there was no real issue.

"I don't want to drink it. The water company said it was safe. Here it is," she said, gesturing to the brown water sample she took. "Come by and take a sip of it please. Come and drink this wonderful water you're giving us."

Denham Springs Mayor Jimmy Durbin says before Thursday, he had never heard about any complaints from the apartment complex about the water quality. Durbin spoke with 9 News after we went to the water company. We were sent to his the mayors office for comment.

The mayor says Spring Tree Apartments has there own water line, but the city has a master water meter in front of the complex. He says the brown water comes from breaks in the main line or some kind of force causing a slough off of minerals into the interior lines.

"I'm not saying from time to time there has not been a brown water intrusion through that water meter," Durbin said.

Two months ago, Durbin says, someone brought him a vial of brown water. He says he told that resident to run their faucets for at least five minutes and the water would return to clear.

He added, the city does put an EPA approved chemical in the water to stop the build up of mineral deposits but it doesn't always work 100%.