Water issues run deep, but help could be on the way for Lucama residents

November 7, 2018

There may be some hope for residents of Lucama, a town plagued by dirty drinking water for decades.

Tiffany Fragoso is one of the town’s 1,100 residents, and she said that for decades tap water has been murky brown or reeking of chemicals as crews flush the pipes.

“You can’t drink that,” Fragoso said. “You don’t even want it around you.”

“When you open it up, it smells like sulfur,” she continued.

During a crowded town council meeting on Monday night, residents were able to voice their frustrations. Leaders also discussed new plans to clean the water with money from the state.

“This is not only going to be a process of restoring the quality, but also restoring the trust of the community,” said Rich Moore, an engineer.

Moore said the issues run deep, starting with the town’s ground water which has high levels of iron. The iron has created a rusty buildup on the town’s water lines.

Moore believes the rusty pipes are likely what is causing the water to be brown and smelly.

″(It is) very similar to washing your dishes or washing a pan - it is going to wash the debris off of the pipe and it is going to seek an outlet, and certainly the easiest outlet is going to be the resident’s plumbing,” he said.

While the iron levels in the water are above state standards, the water is still considered safe.

Engineers recommend that the town replace some of the water lines and rehab an existing well and filter system.

Officials say the plan will improve water quality, but without more money, the water woes will continue.

Engineers say construction on the project should begin at the beginning of 2019. The hope is that the state will invest more funds to expand the project.

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