Residents from Whispering Pines, Southern Pines and parts of Pinehurst have been complaining lately of poor water quality in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in September.
A number of residents — all of whom get their water from the town of Southern Pines — have sent in pictures of water that is yellow, brown and even green in color, and some have said the water has a sulfuric smell.
Town officials issued a statement Thursday afternoon about the water issues. In that statement, the town said that “the water is, and has been, perfectly safe to consume and utilize despite any discoloration.”
“The Town of Southern Pines has received a number of complaint calls regarding tinted water following the events of Hurricane Florence.
“First and foremost, the Town’s potable water is, and has been, perfectly safe to consume and utilize despite any discoloration.
“The Town of Southern Pines utilizes Drowning Creek (headwaters of the Lumber River Basin) as its sole source of drinking water. This stream flow has been greatly impacted by the most recent hurricane and tropical storms delivering significant amounts of rainfall to our area. As we monitor this flow, we are recording a significant increase in Drowning Creek iron concentrations. These iron concentrations are causing increased color in our available water as the stream flows recede. Our treatment process is removing the available iron but may leave behind a slight color visible once final chlorination takes place. Even though we have increased our treatment chemicals to improve this iron and organics removal, you may notice a slight color to the water as we continue to treat the water and flush the system. The coagulant chemicals we routinely utilize are successfully removing all organics and other components normally found in our stream flows. We are aggressively monitoring the Southern Pines Treatment facility as well as collecting monitoring samples from a number of points throughout the distribution system. All parameters continue to be found within the expected values. Again, the Town’s water continues to be safe for drinking and all other uses.
“We are expediting this process with increased water flows through community fire hydrants and will continue to adjust treatment to mitigate any color concerns.
We thank you for your patience and will keep you informed of any changes as we go through this process.