Park View leaders confident they can fix issue causing dark tap water

PARK VIEW, Iowa -- Water experts are working to fix the issue that has led to dark or rust-colored tap water for some Park View homeowners.

Longtime resident Joyce Culver said the water at her house sometimes runs black.

"The other day, I had to let it run probably a good 30 to 45 minutes before I could literally take a bath," said Culver. "I have a three-year-old grandson who lives in my house. Would I let him drink, give that to him to drink? No. Absolutely not."

Park View's Water and Sanitary District has hired a new operations manager, Brent Earley, to try and fix the problem. Earley says the issue is three contaminants in the water -- ammonia, manganese, and iron.

"The cause is the source water. The wells have iron and manganese in them. The result of the customers having this issue is the result of an inefficient treatment process," said Earley.

The issue, Earley says, is purely aesthetic. However, he understands residents' concerns.

"It's safe, and it is gross," said Earley.

In the short term, Earley plans to use phosphate to chemically treat the problem. He's also planning a hydraulic flush of the system, which would scour the water mains and remove manganese that has built up in pipes over the years.

In addition, Earley plans to hire a consulting firm to evaluate Park View's water treatment process. The study should be completed in the next couple of months, and planning for a long-term fix could begin around the beginning of 2018.

"I can promise, within a year from today, we're going to be looking at something totally different," said Earley.

The long-term study will also include a growth analysis to see how the addition of new homes is impacting the water system.