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Danbury residents fed up with brown water coming from faucets

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Some residents in Brazoria County say they've been living with dirty brown water in their homes for two years now and they need help.

Both the city and the TCEQ say that it's iron and manganese in the water. But some residents in the tiny city say the color and the oily sediment make them concerned it's not safe.

Depending on the day, the water in Danbury in Brazoria County comes out of the tap clear or oily and brown. That's according to some people who live there, like Chris Garrett.

"It slowly gets worse and worse and they say that there's nothing they can do about it," Garrett said.

Garrett says what's in the water stained his shower, ruins laundry and isn't something anyone wants to drink.

"Bathing kids, can't do it; it's just too disgusting," Garrett said.

No one from the city of Danbury was available for an on-camera interview Tuesday afternoon. But we were told on the phone that the sediment is iron and that it's not dangerous. The city flushes the system regularly.

We were also told Danbury uses a chemical to suppress the iron but doesn't have the means to fix it.

The city has about a $500,000 a year operating budget and a nearly $2 million debt stemming from a water and sewer project in 2003.

But that's not what some residents, like Meggin Trammel, want to hear.

"We change our water heater elements every two months on average; we're cleaning our coffee pots out with vinegar every two to three weeks because they're clogged and won't brew," Trammel said.

Trammell showed us pictures of what she found in her water heater -- clumped up sediment she says is causing damage to the water heater.

And until the water in Danbury runs clear and free of oil...

"I'm not going to bathe my kid in it. I have to take them to Angleton, Alvin or her parents' house out in the country," Garrett said.

We also talked to the TCEQ on the phone, and they say the last complaint they received was in July of last year. They found iron and manganese in the water here in Danbury, which they say is not dangerous and they noted that a food-grade oil was used to keep the pump cool in one well.

The TCEQ says the city flushed the system and treated it with iron suppressants.

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