- Associated Press - Monday, October 19, 2020

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Some Georgetown residents have reported multiple incidences of black tap water over the past few weeks.

Town officials say the intermittent black water is caused by manganese, which is common in low levels in public water systems.

Manganese has been averaging at 0.07 milligrams per liter in the town water supply, according to Georgetown Town Manager Eugene Dvornick. He said the reason that number is low yet some residents are experiencing higher levels may be because the manganese appears to be moving in “pockets.”

“It’s very strange,” Dvornick told The News Journal. “You might see black water, but the building next door would have no discoloring.”

Stephanie Showell said her water has run black three times in the past three weeks, most recently on Oct. 8.

“My grandchildren tried to get in the bathtub but it was black,” she said.

Georgetown first notified residents of discolored water on Facebook on Sept. 27.

Since it’s typically found at low levels in drinking water, it’s generally not considered a health concern. But the EPA recommends keeping it at less than 0.5 milligrams per liter for aesthetic reasons.

Dvornick said the town is working with the Division of Public Health’s Office of Drinking Water, the Delaware Rural Water Association and Coyne Chemicals to correct the problem.

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