Onawa residents struggling with brown tap water

Local News

Water is essential for the livelihood of everyone, but residents in one Monona county community are unhappy with the quality of their water. Citizens in Onawa say their water has been looking dirty for almost a year now, but city officials say they are working hard to solve the problem.

Onawa resident Sarah Haptonstal says the water has been getting worse and worse over the years. She blames the previous water superintendent saying he chose not to check the water facilities for decades.

“So when it was opened up it was horrendous it was orange it was clumps of iron in there,” said Haptonstal.

Haptonstall says the dirty water has nearly doubled her water bill. She spends so much time draining out the water before she finds water that is clear enough for her to use. 

“We’re a poor community and a lot of us can not afford the increasing city rates to go with all of this you know we pay for clean water, we don’t have clean water,” said Haptonstal.

The current water superintendent explained that the problem stems from too much manganese in the water. When manganese passes through filters and remains in the water it causes it to turn darker than normal. Although it is harmless for most, the city now has plans to permanently solve the problem.

“We worked with an engineer to get plans drawn up for sodium permanganate addition to wrap up this problem,” said David Richardson the water superintendent. 

The addition would chemically make the manganese particles stick together so they no longer will pass through any filters, eliminating the color problem.

The mayor says the plans for this new water treatment should be approved within 30 days.

“There is no one more than the mayor and the city employees in this community that and David the head of our water department that would like to see this taken care of,” said Lonnie Campbell the Mayor of Onawa. 
 

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