Stinky Water

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COLUMBIA - Residents of the Eastport subdivision in eastern Columbia voiced concern and anger Friday over their water quality. Because the are was recently annexed into the city, its water comes from Public Water District #9. On Wednesday, a construction company ruptured a water line there, according to Roger Ballew, a water district manager.

Residents said they noticed their water looked like urine and had a strong chemical smell. Ballew said the discoloration came from iron sediment in the pipe got into the water. But Ballew said that even though there is iron sediment in the water, it is safe to drink.

Residents said they called the water district multiple times and are upset because they were told different things

They said they are also concerned because the neighborhood contains a lot of families with children.They said no one informed them of the water line leak.

The construction site where the break happened is nearly a mile away from the residents who were affected. A construction worker said Friday the markers for the line were 15 feet from the correct location. The worker, who refused to give his name, said, "You have to place markers around the water line. If we strike anything inside of the markers within two feet, we are to blame. Anything outside of that is the utility company's fault."

Ballew said, "We do accept blame because the waterline was mis-marked."

District #9 is is the same district that angered residents in Callaway County last year with the erection of a water tower.  Callaway residents complained they weren't told of plans to build the tower. But there are no Callaway County zoning rules that require that notification.