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home : opinions : letters May 24, 2016

8/18/2011 11:32:00 AM
Letter: Mayor's letter addresses water issues
Photo/Eric Hadder
Photo/Eric Hadder

To our valued water customers:

As you know the city of Williams has been dealing with extremely high levels of manganese in the water supply. Manganese is a mineral that is naturally occurring in the water supply, and while it is generally undetectable to the average user, when manganese reacts with the chlorine in the water supply it becomes a problem. As manganese level increase, the result is discolored water, laundry and plumbing fixtures and more importantly an overall dissatisfaction with the water quality. However, it is important to keep in mind that the manganese does not pose a health threat, and at all times the City's water has met Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) standards.

The Mayor, Council and City Staff have been diligently working to correct the problem. Some progress has been made but the problem has not been fully resolved. The measures we've taken or are in the process of taking are:

• Installed a Chlorine Dioxide System that reduces the amount of manganese. The system has been somewhat successful reducing the manganese by up to 50 percent, but not quite enough.

• Installing a potassium permanganate system. This process will help oxidize the manganese before it reaches the water plant. This system is relatively easy and inexpensive and in combination with the Chlorine Dioxide System should reduce the manganese levels even further.

• Installing new carbon in our filters. Our water treatment plant has state of the art filtration, but new activated carbon should help reduce the levels of particulates in the water.

• Adding a Solar Bee to Dogtown Lake. Manganese level increase when the dissolved oxygen in the lakes gets low. Every summer when the lakes turn the dissolved oxygen levels decrease. This year was greater than normal. The Solar Bee is a solar powered aeration unit that will put oxygen back into the water. For more information go to www.solarbee.com.

• Replacing the equipment in Dogtown Well III. The city has used well water from Dogtown III each year to dilute the surface water from the reservoirs, which has kept the manganese level down. Unfortunately, Dogtown III failed this summer. The equipment is on order and the installation is being fast tracked.

As you can see the City is taking every reasonable action to fix our brown water problem. We've brought in engineers and various other experts to assist us. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has made several inspections and is aware and concurs with the steps we are taking.

Understand, we live here, too, and this is the same water that comes into our homes. We are extremely concerned when we can't provide the quality product that our community deserves. We are confident the steps being taken will solve this problem; unfortunately it can't be solved overnight.

Over the last few days we've had incidents of dark brown and black water coming out of the tap. This is attributed to the buildup of manganese in the distribution system that is breaking loose and flowing through the system. If you experience this problem please flush the water until it clears. We also recommend flushing your hot water heater to remove as much of the buildup as possible.

We have started a "Community Update" email distribution list to keep our citizens up to date on the latest news and events around the city. To sign up you can send an email to cow@williamsaz.gov. We will also continue to communicate through the City's website, postings at City Hall and notifications to the local newspaper.

We sincerely appreciate the community's patience and understanding.


Mayor John W. Moore


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by: Drew Broadfoot

I have heard about the problems of water here in Williams, AZ. I am here as a snowbird, in the community where i live we have had the Manganese issue. I am retired now, but i worked as supervisor for the City of PG in BC Canada. More chlorine does not help. The discoloration is not harmful to health. the measures that the Mayor and council are doing are the same we did 20 years ago, That is GOOD. I do not want to get too technical as i am trained in Chemistry & Biology. The terminology can be very confusing to many people. Lets get more concerned with the shortage of good potable water. Higher rates for the water usage will hurt many lower income families. We must try to determine what an average family water usage is. \And then and ONLY then we may be able to increase the water rates.Restrictions to water usage will prevail, if we want good drinking water

Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011
Article comment by: Paige Rabonovitch

I have had it !
I have Organized "Northern Arizona
Pink Angels CODE PINK"
I am holding a Public Meeting
I want to have all the city come and vote
I want Water billed by the gallon not 1,000 gallon a household! I want answers and proof you are fixing this situation!!
I want you all to know this is a Scam and a 11.00 discount ?? no way!!!
Double billing, excuses, chemicals giving out to white and clear stains, Well that bottle is very dangerous!
I want to know who is paying me back for clothes that are ruined or water filters i had to install?

I come from Los Angels Ca
I would drink that water from TAP before I Drink this Cities Water !
I have lived here watched, listened and Lived here well over 20 years ...
NOW I Am Calling everyone who wants to see change wear Pink and Meet Up with me Stay tuned to local news and city for meeting place and time !
Dr. Pinky

Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Article comment by: grumpy oldlady

So what about the people in the community that cannot afford to keep flushing the water until it comes clean? My last water bill was more than double the usual amount. I am in a panic because I cannot afford to pay the amount due. What happens then? I pay what I can and wait until my bill becomes deliquent and my water is turned off? Or I don't buy groceries? Or gas for my car?

Posted: Friday, August 19, 2011
Article comment by: Mutated Resident

Considering local hotels are having to refund guests because the water is so bad. 200+ guests at $140-200 a pop at the GCR Hotel alone last Monday. And having to replace their own water filters several months early. As well as draining pools, and hauling in water from Flagstaff and Bellemont, yet the city refuses to return calls to these hotels when inquiries are made or acknowledge that there is a major problem. Yes, this happens every year, but it is usually a week or two and never has it been this bad.

Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2011
Article comment by: grumpy oldman

What have you done about dogtown # 1 Mr. Mayor???

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