Vidalia Mayor: Questionably-colored water is ‘safe’ but may stain clothing

Published 3:02 pm Friday, January 19, 2024

VIDALIA, La. — Vidalia officials assure that the Town’s questionably colored water is safe, but undesirable and may stain clothing.

Winter weather earlier this week caused pipes at a lot of houses to burst and a loss in water pressure for Vidalia residents.

In a social media post on Friday morning, Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft apologized to residents for a “brown to tan” discoloration in the water.

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“The water is safe but is not something that is desirable,” Craft said.  “Personally, I wouldn’t drink or wash clothes in it but it’s ok to bathe in and cook with. It’s tested and it’s safe. We never did have a boil water notice. Even in the summer when we flush lines, you’ll still get discoloration in our water. That’s what (flushing the lines) is for, to let the old water out.”

Craft said what happened to the water could happen anytime the town flushes its water lines or loses pressure from a lot of people running water or having burst pipes, which happened when prolonged freezing weather affected the region on Monday through Wednesday.

Once things thawed out over the later part of the week, Craft said utility workers responded to several burst pipes at residences all over town.

“Utility crews walked yards and turned off those lines so it wouldn’t drain the system,” he said.

When the pressure drops, old water in the lines can get stirred up, causing the discoloration, he said.

Those who’ve experienced stains on their clothing after washing clothes in the tinted water can call the town’s water plant at 318-336-6257, give their address and they will deliver a chemical that would clear laundry of the stain, Craft said.

He said the town’s side of the water system saw little to no damage and that it was mostly in older homes. Those residents will have to call a contractor to fix any leaks they have, he said.

“I’d like to thank crews for working hard to take care of our water system and cutting off the lines that had leaks so we would have major problems,” Craft said.