Severe Drought Blamed For 'Undrinkable' Water In Hobart

Friday, March 18th 2011, 6:15 pm
By: News 9

Jacqueline Sit, News 9

HOBART, Oklahoma – The severe drought in southwest and central Oklahoma is being blamed for water problems in the town of Hobart.

A Hobart resident said the water is unbearable and they can't use it. Another resident, Ashley Callahan, emailed News 9 saying the water "smells like fungus and dirt...and it is undrinkable."

Residents in Hobart said they've been dealing with foul smelling water for more than a month. Not only does the water smell bad but the color comes out brown at times.

"It's really hard to have your children take their bath in water like that," Callahan said.

"We experience this every year and it's a nightmare it really is a nightmare. And I have to drink the water," said Hobart City Manager Wilt Brown.

City officials blame the severe drought they've been enduring in their lake's water supply. The lake is at its lowest level in years and it's forcing them to draw water from the bottom, sucking in dirt and algae.

"The drought is not helping us out. That's the big thing because everything is drying up. What we need is six inch rain for two days. Ask God for that, we may get it, haha. That would clear a lake up," said Brown.

At the Hobart Water Treatment plant, Superintendent Joe Tipton said despite the smell and color, the water had been disinfected and is drinkable. City officials say it's safe since the water is tested several times a month and turned into the Department of Environmental Quality.

Brown and Tipton are both looking at long term solutions but for the short term, they're at the mercy of the weather.

The city has proposed drawing water from another source but that would mean a $10 dollar bump in each month's water bill, which was voted down.