Pickle Juice From A Faucet

Aug. 11, 2004
A sample of neighborhood water is sent to a Connecticut company for testing

It might have passed for ice tea in a pickle jar. But residents of Tiverton, RI say it is their water. They have recently sent a sample of their water to a Connecticut company for testing. Neighbors complain that for the past year and a half, their water smells like a sewer. Vegetables turn orange when washed, and children are made to quickly shower. And told not to drink the water, not even a taste.

Such unappealing imagery, for some 18 families living on Robert Street, Mathew Road and others, has raised questions about the quality of the water in their homes. Most families confess to living on bottled water.

"When someone turns the water on, at first it looks fine. Wait a little while and it turns a rust color and there can be a residual odor," explained Pam Colaneri. Other residents say that they are unable to do their wash without repeated scrubbings when the water is on for any length of time.

Members of the Town Council state that the homes are served by the North Tiverton Water District, separate from town government. Neighbors said that the water district claims that they do not have the funds for some of the proposed solutions. Residents have even offered to pay a portion of the cost, in order to get the problem solved. The council is advising the residents to seek help from the state Department of Environmental Management.

As of last night's town meeting, the matter has not been resolved. And it is not known if the water has had any lasting health effects on residents.

Source: EPA