Archdale residents turn on faucet to find brown water, city says it’s safe to drink

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ARCHDALE, N.C. -- Jennifer East spent her Wednesday night talking to her neighbors.

"The phone starts dinging with text messages, 'My water looks brown, what does yours look like?'" East said. "She just sent me a picture of her bathtub filled with this dirty murky water and my first reaction was, 'You can't bathe your kids in that tonight.'"

In the same neighborhood, Sidney Barker got the same kind of call from his son who lives a block over.

"He called me about his water, said he couldn't wash his face or anything cause it was so nasty," Barker said. "They couldn't take baths or anything because of the color of it."

Thursday, the water coming out of Barker's spigot in his garage didn't look as brown as some of his neighbor's, but it was closer to yellow than clear.

Turns out the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority was doing line work and that maintenance caused the color.

"It ended up being on a grander scale than they expected and it just kind of flushed up the water a little bit, stirred it up and that's resulting in some of the discoloration that folks are seeing," said Archdale City Manager Zeb Holden over the phone.

Holden says the water is safe to drink and both the city and the water authority are working around the clock to flush it out.

But East says folks were still left in the dark and never received a notice from the city until FOX8 started making calls.

"They were using bottled water to brush their teeth with, using bottled water to make coffee with," East said about her neighbors.

A news release wasn't sent out until 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning and wasn't posted on Facebook until about 11 a.m. Holden says they assumed the problem would have been resolved Wednesday night and reiterated that the water is harmless, it just doesn't look normal.

"I'm hoping that in the future the city will put out a notice, something on the Facebook, get out to local media, just give us a heads up," East said.