Stillwater Residents Complain Of Strange Smell, Taste In Water

Wednesday, March 29th 2017, 7:05 pm
By: Grant Hermes

Something stinks in the city of Stillwater.

After noticing an odd taste and smell, dozens of residents took to a community Facebook page to ask questions. 

One woman said "my water has a strong chlorine smell. I don't want to drink it and I didn't give it to my dog...Anyone know what's up?"

Another wrote, "[T]ook one drink of water but it was bad...I had to spit it out."

And then there was this from famous activist Erin Brockovich told the city to "fess up," alleging the noxious smell was what's called a chlorine burn to purify contaminated water that isn't safe to drink.

Something the City says isn't true and that those kinds of claims are just poisoning the well. 

“Water's safe to drink. I have grandchildren that live in town. I didn't call them and tell them to quit drinking the water. It's perfectly safe,” Stillwater City Manager Norman McNickles said.

City officials said the water in Stillwater is safely treated with ammonia and a chemical called chloramine. But, last week, the ammonia side malfunctioned, forcing the City to implement a quick fix by releasing what's known as free chlorine into the pipes.

A practice that's perfectly safe until the City gets replacement parts to go back to normal. 

“These parts are just not on the shelf. They're not something you can run out and get at the local parts house,” McNickles said, adding he expected repairs to be finished within two to three weeks.

As for that funky taste and smell, officials suggest running the tap for a minute before drinking or leaving a pitcher sitting out and it should go away on its own.