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'IT'S JUST GROSS': Fort Myers residents concerned about brown tap water

The city breaks down recent water events and how they are separate issues that they are currently trying to fix
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Posted at 5:46 PM, May 31, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Some Fort Myers residents received boiled water notices on Thursdays - while some say they did not.

All say they're concerned after people started seeing discolored water overnight.

The city told FOX 4 that the notice was issued because of a water line break near 4701 McGregor Blvd - not because of the brown water.

On Friday, some residents saw their fire hydrant's water being flushed - causing concerns about the health of their drinking water and the health of their tap water for daily usage.

"It's just gross," says Shannon Ireland, a resident in the McGregor neighborhood. "Like you want to bathe your baby in clean water or you want to drink clean water."

People shared with Fox 4 their frustration seeing brown water overnight but not being notified of the water line break that caused the city to issue the notice.

The city said in a statement that these are two separate events with two separate treatments.

"It just seems odd that there will be two different water events in the same span of 24 hours," says Haley Keller, a resident who lived a block away from the water main break.

Take a look at the City of Fort Myers' explanation:

A boil water notice is not designed to address discolored water. It’s designed to address low water pressure less than 20 psi.

These are two separate events with two separate treatments.

They’re only related in that a water break can cause discolored water, but they’re addressed differently. The typical resolution and standard practice for discolored water is to flush hydrants. There’s no way to predict where discolored water will appear, and it could travel elsewhere when water is redirected from a water line break. We immediately respond to resident calls by flushing hydrants where discolored water is identified.

The City is currently executing a Utilities Master Plan that includes an evaluation of the City’s potable water, wastewater, and reclaimed water systems through various planning horizons. The Master Plan is generating strategies to maintain reliability and timely development of projects to better serve residents. As part of the evaluation, the Master Plan includes investing capital improvement dollars to replace water lines in certain areas.