People push for answers regarding murky water

Local News

OAKWOOD, Ill. (WCIA) — People say their water smells dirty, like it came straight out of a lake. 

Many have stopped drinking it and businesses say they’re losing customers because it’s that bad. The water has been like this for a month. There’s no boil order, but the water company hasn’t fixed the problem, so people have resorted to buying water from the store. 

When people turn on their tap, they describe it as “terrible” and “nasty.”

Randy Webb says, “We started noticing a little odor in the water like it was pond water, river water. It just started getting progressively worse.” 

Businesses in town have suffered because of it. Shanna Holleran is a waitress at Pitstop Bar and Grill.

She says, “We’ve had such bad complaints about the water. So we’ve had to stop charging for it. We’ve had to buy our own sodas and waters from the store.” 

Resident are doing the same.

Village board member Bob Woodard says, “We go up to the Dollar General now and buy water by the gallon.”

The board says it’s been bombarded with calls and complaints. Webb even called Utility Inc., the company supplying Oakwood’s water.

Webb says, “She said basically there’s nothing we can do for your bill.” 

But, they didn’t tell him why the water is so bad. 

The president of the company released this statement: “We are terribly sorry for the inconvenience caused by our maintenance project.”

Right now crew are repairing treatment lines, but their vendor sent the wrong parts for the filtration. They say the water is clean, but the poor filtration is the cause of the foul taste and odor. 

A couple hours after WCIA-3 News received that email, the company called residents with an automated message. Webb says it told them to “Be patient with them and be conservative with the water.”

Utilities Inc. says their crew is flushing the system daily and will continue to do that until this is fixed. 

Oakwood’s mayor says they collected five water samples from around town. They sent them to be tested at an independent plant to make sure the water is safe. 

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