Updated: You asked, we answered: Marshall water sparks questions about taste

Thursday, August 7, 2014
A jug of Marshall water filled Tuesday, July 29. (Rachel Knight/Democrat-News)

A number of Marshall residents have been raising questions about the taste and appearance of the city's water supply.

The taste of chlorine has been reported recently and people are wondering why.

How much chlorine is needed to filter the water? Ginny Ismay, director of environmental services explained chlorine levels could be low and need to be boosted.

When chlorine is used to filter water there are three compounds present, monochlorine -- which is unnoticeable -- dichlorine and trichlorine. When chlorine levels are high, monochlorine is the primary compound. As time passes and monochlorine mixes with the water to be filtered, chemical reactions occur and produces dichlorine and trichlorine, the latter being the compound that produces the "chlorinated" taste and smell.

To address the issue Ismay explained chlorine levels may need to be raised to restore higher monochlorine levels in the water being filtered.

The discoloration of the water has been an ongoing problem for a few months now, according to Ismay. She said the discoloration is because of too much iron and rust and that they are currently talking with the Department of Natural Resources to get to the root of the problem. MMU has been routinely flushing the water to clear it up, but, at this time, they have not found the cause yet.

Contact Lucas Johnson at ljohnson@marshallnews.com

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  • That explains the chlorine taste. What about the discoloration?

    -- Posted by Pragmatist on Thu, Aug 7, 2014, at 2:44 PM
  • As they used to say on Seinfeld...yada yada yada. This really doesn't explain anything. Nothing was mentioned about the appearance. Seriously do you want to drink water that looks like this even if you are told its supposedly safe. Water is pretty much all I drink and I have to buy water and ice. Its really irritating to pay my water bill and still have to buy water to drink. And wouldn't you hate to wash delicate white clothes in water that looks like this. Perhaps we should have an independent company to come in and check out our water system. We used to have great water. Is chlorine the only way to filter the water? How expensive is it to use the chlorine? Other places don't have water that looks and tastes nasty. I think people should really start paying attention to our water situation. Lots of people complain about it but don't say anything to the right people. I guess they figure nothing will be done about it. I wonder if the board members drink this water.

    -- Posted by mo_maxine on Thu, Aug 7, 2014, at 2:45 PM
  • We asked, but you didn't answer anything. The article is about the taste, but the picture and what everyone is asking about is the frequent discoloration. Shouldn't the obvious question the reporter should have asked is what the cause of the discoloration all the time?

    -- Posted by Cheese on Thu, Aug 7, 2014, at 4:08 PM
  • Exactly. Please address the question.

    -- Posted by momaster on Thu, Aug 7, 2014, at 6:34 PM
  • I agree....I cannot drink the water that comes out of the tap. And, when it gets the discoloration, I even hate the thought of showering in it. With the prices of the utilities, we shouldn't have to deal with these problems.

    -- Posted by wod1951 on Thu, Aug 7, 2014, at 8:12 PM
  • I have a pool and cant get it balanced. I wonder if that is the reason why?

    -- Posted by FFAmom on Fri, Aug 8, 2014, at 12:43 AM
  • Actually, I don't think chlorine filters the water, just disinfects. Isn't filtering the removal of the solids? Disinfection and filtering are two separate issues, so the filtering was not really addressed at all.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Fri, Aug 8, 2014, at 7:06 AM
  • This is a problem in many cities. Are you concerned about drinking tap water? Fortunately, technology has improved so much in the past 10 years there is an easy solution. It is safe, inexpensive, and really convenient. Wholesalewatercooler.com sells a NSF labeled system that employs a very efficient series of 4 filters and can be installed in one hour with the kit provided. It's always on, no pitchers to fill, no bottles to buy and only cost $118.

    -- Posted by bRad1st on Fri, Aug 8, 2014, at 7:49 AM
  • I drink my tap water everyday and i haven't noticed any discoloration or different taste. What part of town does everyone live that is having this issue? I live on the east side of town and my water hasn't changed any at all. Same clear color and taste the same as it always has.

    -- Posted by oldschool17 on Fri, Aug 8, 2014, at 9:45 AM
  • Investigative at it's finest. Questions asked. Perhaps...answered, not so much.

    -- Posted by wheresthelove on Fri, Aug 8, 2014, at 11:02 AM
  • According to Ginny Ismay, director of environmental services, the discoloration of the water has been an ongoing problem for a few months now. She said the discoloration is because of too much iron and rust and that they are currently talking with the Department of Natural Resources to get to the root of the problem. MMU has been routinely flushing the water to clear it up, but, at this time, they have not found the cause yet.

    -- Posted by Jesse Brown on Fri, Aug 8, 2014, at 11:35 AM
  • I really paid attention today after reading this, the water at my work is fine, at my folks is fine, at my friends is fine. So obviously this isn't a city wide issue, makes me wonder if it is a certain pipeline issue than because if it was just a water issue why would so many places water be just fine and others clearly not?

    -- Posted by oldschool17 on Fri, Aug 8, 2014, at 1:27 PM
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