Customers Complain Of Brown And Smelly Water

"I'm scared of the water," says Rock Hill Water Supply Corp customer Peggy Wallace at her home. This is what she says she has to look at everyday when she turns on her faucet... brown water. "I'm the type of person that I can smell gas in an electric house. So I do not even consider drinking their water, I wouldn't!" The problem is the same in her bathroom. The brown water has stained the inside of her toilet. And this sea of brown is what it would look like to take a bath. Plus, she says, the smell... "Foul, like not good, you could smell the water when you shower." "The little one, we're very worried about her in the bathtub because she puts it in her mouth," says Peggy's neighbor Jacquelene Singleton about her 3-year-old daughter. You may think it's just a little brown water, but Rock Hill Water Supply issued a letter to customers earlier this year saying levels of Tri-halomethanes, or TTHM's, were found in the water. And if consumed in excess could cause problems with their liver, kidney, central nervous systems and may have an increased risk of getting cancer. "Honey that's frightening! That's frightening!," says Wallace. KLTV 7 contacted Rock Hill Water Supply who says it has reduced those levels of TTHM's by disinfecting the water with chloramines, instead of chlorine. But the company says chloramines can cause problems to people on dialysis and may be toxic to fish. "We have to drink from this, we make coffee from this, we make oatmeal from this," says Peggy referring to her purified water cooler. Peggy and her neighbor, Jacquelene, say they're essentially paying two water bills because they regularly buy bottled water to consume. "We buy our water, we buy our ice, buy water to cook with. I don't cook with it anymore," says Singleton. That extra expense may continue, because according to the TCEQ, the water company has until January 2007 to comply to state standards.

Christine Nelson, reporting.