Fayette officials hope water smell subsides after week of complaints
“This is lingering longer than I thought it would.” — Fayette County Water System Director Tony Parrott
Complaints from north Peachtree City, Tyrone and areas on the west side of Fayetteville over drinking water that looks and smells dirty have diminished but are still being reported after the problems were first reported a week ago. Water from Lake Horton in south Fayette is still being used in place of water from Lake Peachtree where the problem attributed to a reaction between chlorine and a change in water temperature occurred.
“This is lingering longer than I thought it would,” Fayette County Water System Director Tony Parrott said of the complaints that began surfacing approximately a week ago. He said the calls have diminished but are still coming in, adding that he hopes the situation will be resolved over the weekend. “The water is completely safe to drink.”
Fayette County Water System officials on Tuesday said complaints from residents in north and central Peachtree City about a peculiar odor and taste in their drinking water is not cause for alarm. The problem is being resolved and the water is safe to drink, officials said. And Parrott on Thursday confirmed that position.
“Upon receiving complaints, the water system immediately dispatched staff to investigate the situation,” Parrott said. “It was determined that the odor is due to a reaction from chlorine and the water from Lake Peachtree. The reaction was caused by a significant change in water temperature.”
The primary locations where the dirty, smelly water was being reported on Thursday included the north side of Peachtree City, the Tyrone area, the area in the vicinity of Lester Road and other areas on the west side of Fayetteville, Parrott said.
Parrott explained that because of the size of the water distribution system in the county totaling 650 miles of water lines, the problem with the water could remain for a few days until the water is flushed through the system.
The process of replacing the water in the system essentially involves two components. The primary component is by running water completely through the system through the thousands of end-use locations around the county. The secondary component is accomplished by flushing water hydrants that can disperse approximately 1,500 gallons per minute. In some cases, said Parrott, crews are letting the hydrants run for more than 30 minutes.
Parrott on Thursday said the water system continues to use water from Lake Horton rather than from Lake Peachtree.
Parrott said water system staff continue to work diligently to resolve the situation. He said residents in subdivisions still experiencing problems with their water should call the water system even if water crews have already been out to flush the lines on a previous occasion. Some of the factors that can prevent water being fully replaced, especially in clustered development such as subdivisions, include the size of the water line, the number of homes being served by that line or the amount of water usage.
“We won’t know there is still a problem unless people call us,” Parrott said.