Public Notice: Discolored Water

Public Notice

City of Abbeville

Public Utilities

July 7, 2017

Public Notice 17-01-PA

This is a Public Notice in reference to the continued periods of discolored water being observed throughout the City of Abbeville.

The current frequency and length of discolored water incidents throughout the City has been identified by the Public Utilities Department to have been caused by the higher than normal rainfall the City has experienced in the past two months.

The heavy rainfall has caused the contents of Lake Russell, the City’s main water supply, and the rivers providing water to Lake Russell to experience a higher consistency of the chemical element manganese (Mn). Manganese is a naturally occurring element in rocks and minerals that under normal conditions settles at the bottom of bodies of water.

Disturbances of the lake by heavy rains and a possible turn-over have caused manganese to be more thoroughly mixed in the lake and it is entering the City’s distribution system. The presence of manganese itself does not discolor the water so the water is completely clear when it leaves the treatment plant. However, as the water is distributed through the City in the distribution system, the manganese oxidizes. The oxidized manganese discolors the water and the discoloration can range from yellow to darker brown.

To deal with these occurrences in the short-term, the City will go to affected areas and flush the hydrants to let the discolored water flow out of the system. If there are incidents in your area, contact the Public Utilities Department at (864) 366-5058 to arrange a time for the water crew to come flush the hydrants. The frequency of these incidents is determined by the amount of rainfall experienced in the area, so until the high levels of rainfall subside, the incidents will continue in the near future.

It is important to note that even though the water is discolored it is still completely safe for normal use and the manganese levels in the system are well below any health related limits.