County officials: Filmy water OK to drink

By Bob Shiles -

LUMBERTON — A chemical used to adjust and maintain the pH factor of water flowing through Robeson County’s countywide water system is to blame for some of the system’s customers receiving clear water coated with a film, according to Myron Neville, head of Robeson County’s Public Works Department.

Neville said Friday that water customers don’t need to worry about the safety of their water for drinking or other uses. He said the chemical, aimed at adjusting the water’s pH back to 7.0 to 7.5 from a high of 8.5, should be completely out of the system within the next couple of days.

According to Neville, lines throughout the system have been being flushed since Monday.

“If we felt this was a health concern we would have notified the public,” he said. “This is not an issue, although the quality of the water being delivered to our customers is not normal.”

The most recent reports of the tainted water came Friday from people live in the Saddletree community. It was reported that there was no discoloration or bad odor, but the clear water had an oily film. It also “tasted a little different,” one resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Robesonian.

Neville said that the county had been flushing the system from Lumber Bridge to Red Springs and thought that all of the chemical was gone.

“It appears there are still pockets of it out there that needs to be flushed,” he said. “We don’t know where these pockets are until we get calls from someone about their water. This is a large system with 13 treatment plants and water intermingles throughout.”

Neville said that customers who discover anything wrong with their water should contact the Public Works Department at 910-671-3485.

“Call us and we will come out and flush the lines,” he said.

By Bob Shiles

Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.

Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.

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