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Routine maintenance causes dirty, smelly water in Friendswood homes

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas – Imagine trying to bathe in discolored water with a pungent, tear-producing odor.

"Sunday night, I went into the bathroom," Toni Trusty, of Friendswood, said. "I was going to run a bath and I turned it on and it was like, brown and gross."

That's what Trusty's family and their neighbors have been dealing with due to routine maintenance of their water system.

They buy their water from the city of Houston and when they contacted their mud district about the problem, they said they were given instructions.

"If we noticed any discoloration just let the water run for a few minutes and it would be clear," Trusty said. "I know that it took more than just a few minutes, it took a few days."

Other neighbors sent videos to Channel 2 showing just how murky their water was. Families were forced to buy their own water to cook with, drink and bathe. And even though the water has cleared up, it still produces an incredibly strong smell.

"It's clear, but the chlorine like burns your eyes," Trusty said. "I still couldn't take a bath in there because it would be, like, my eyes were, like, watering."

Officials with Mud District 55 say the discoloration is a result of routine maintenance. It takes place about every two years and includes a temporary switch to well water. The iron in the well water produces the color -- the odor comes from additives to treat the water.

Customers just want back their regular water.

"We're paying for water that we can't even use," Trusty said. "Some type of compensation maybe."

According to the MUD district, the iron and the additives should all be cleared out by the end of the week.


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