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Edwardsville city leaders say dirty water safe to drink

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EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KTVI)-- Dirty water was coming right out of the taps in Edwardsville, Wednesday.

City leaders were still telling residents to go ahead and drink it.

But the staff at atleast one school, gave students bottled water.

Fox 2 news found tap water coming out with an amber, golden, tint – resembling Chardonnay – but no one was toasting with it.

“It’s certainly got a different color, brownish, yellowish.  It does kind of have a metallic smell to it,” resident, Craig Woodsmall, said of the water at his home.

Edwardsville Public Works Director, Tim Harr, said more than 3 dozen calls started pouring in from residents Wednesday morning, nearly all from the same quadrant of the city.

City workers opened 4-5 hydrants to help bleed/flush the system.

A break in a 14” transmission line caused workers to reroute water city-wide, which may have stirred up sediment.  As a result, perhaps 1000 of the more than 9,000 homes and businesses, including the Public Works Department, were seeing discolored, but drinkable water, Harr said.

“It’s ok to drink.  We’ve tested it.  The chlorine residuals are where they’re supposed to be, within the epa regulations.  It doesn’t taste funny.  It just looks a little funny with the sedimentation,” Harr said.

“It’s not that I don’t believe them.  It’s just that it’s really hard to short circuit your own instincts,” Woodsmall said.

He and his wife even debated whether to bathe their son, 3, in the water.

“Most cases what people should do is run their water for a few minutes, maybe even 10-15 minutes, to get that all out of the system and everything should be fine,” Harr said.

Fox 2 found that to be true.

Residents noticed the water getting clearer throughout the day.

It'll be sometime next week before that transmission line is repaired.

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