WJTV News Channel 12 - Pasco residents upset about brown water

Pasco residents upset about brown water

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ZEPHYRHILLS, FL (WFLA) -

About 50 of the homes at Betmar Acres Park in Zephyrhills have stinky, discolored water. Angry residents say they can't wash clothes in the murky water. They can't drink it, and they worry about their health.

"You have to buy all your drinking water," said homeowner Joanne Lancaster. "We have to go to the laundromat, and you're paying a water bill."

The worst part: it's been like this since late June.

The residents have complained and complained. They say Pasco County workers have been flushing lines every few days, but this situation isn't getting better. So they called 8 On Your Side.

Bruce Kennedy, of Pasco's public utilities, says the pipes under the mobile homes are outdated and the county had hoped to make them last longer by updating the valves. But that didn't work out. Instead, replacing valves to try to improve the system just stirred up rust in the pipes. And the flushing has just stirred up things further.

Kennedy says the county now knows the pipes definitely need to be replaced.

But replacing the pipes will take time. He said his department is preparing a proposal to replace the pipes. The project would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said, and would need to be approved by the county commission.

It could be months before that work begins. In the meantime, the county will continue to flush to the lines in hopes of getting rid of the rust.

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