- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

LESLIE, Mich. (AP) - After three years of delivering bottled water to residents, whose faucets spew out rusty water, the city of Leslie is hoping it has found a solution.

Leslie City Manager Aaron Desentz told the Lansing State Journal (https://on.lsj.com/2jT3LJu ) that a new water treatment process for the city should be running by the end of the month. He said city officials hope residents will have clear water soon after, within two months.

However, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials said they are doubtful of the city’s timeline and question if the $375,000 investment will be enough to restore clear water.

Bethel Skinker, district engineer for the department, said the key to keeping the water clear will be to take care of the infrastructure. She said that won’t be a guarantee.

The problem began in 2013, when the city built a new $1.3 million iron removal plant that used a higher chlorine mixture to separate and remove iron. Beforehand, an aging aerator helped remove iron from well water before it was pumped out of the water plant and into pipes and homes. About 50 locations of the 750 customers the water plant serves have reported repeated issues, Desentz said.

Skinker said the water issues can’t be traced definitively to the 2013 change in water treatment, and that city reports and proposals indicated some prior iron issues. While some homes have tested higher for iron in their water, lead and copper tests haven’t broken any department or EPA standards, Skinker said.

Leslie resident Joyce Kranz said since her ice maker started spitting out gold-hued cubes in 2013, she has burned through several water filters in a month. She boils water borrowed from neighbors to wash her dishes and tries to find other places to shower.

“They say that it’s safe but, with an oily film on it, I can’t see that it would be safe,” Kranz said.

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Information from: Lansing State Journal, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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