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Water turns brackish as project advances

Dirt piles to be removed after two weeks

Staff writer

Marion residents have been finding brown water and sometimes foul-smelling water coming out of their pipes amid efforts to replace city lines in their neighborhoods.

Large mounds of dirt piled up in bunkers have made streets look like war zones in areas where lines are being worked on.

Darin Neufeld, engineer with EBH, engineering, which is supervising the project, apologized for the mess and inconvenience.

“I know it’s unsightly during work, but there is no doubt it is the only way to get a new water system installed,” he said.

Kari Newell, who lives in the 200 block of Tanglewood said water she found Monday in her bathtub looked like beer or urine.

“It’s been on and off for a few years,” she said. “Then, as soon as they started the water project, it seemed to get much worse. It smells like a sewer. We call in for a line flush and — nothing.”

Other residents said nasty smelling water had ruined clothes and towels. Some said they had to clean constantly to keep fixtures from turning brown.

Neufeld advises residents who see discoloration to flush their house.

“We get that rusty color because that’s the stuff in the old water mains, which is why there is a water-line project,” he said. “Anything you can do to run water — that’s the only way to clear it up.”

The project will replace service lines up to each residents’ meter. In many cases older lines that run into homes and will not be replaced are in bad shape.

Homeowners curious about their water line may check with the city because workers are taking an inventory of water lines.

“We can tell you what type of line you have and whether or not it should be replaced by a plumber,” Neufeld said.

The mounds of earth need to be left for two weeks to let dirt settle, he said.

Sites then will be graded and reseeded.

“We need to leave it there,” he said. “If we scrape it bare right now, within weeks the dirt will settle, and we will have to haul dirt right back in.”

Please see WATER Page 9

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Staff photo by Mindy Kepfield

A subcontractor places new water lines on Elm St as the project advances.

Last modified June 10, 2021

 

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