Residents in small town near Galesburg say their water smells like a sewer

MAQUON, Illinois –-The town board in the Village of Maquon – southeast of Galesburg - will be voting on the village’s water situation Tuesday night, after residents voiced concerns about their water smelling like a sewer.

Topping off a glass of water is something most don’t have to think twice about, but in Maquon that’s not the way it’s been flowing.

“There’s a lot of things you can’t do that you would normally do with good water,” says Maquon resident Mardell May.

You can’t see it, but you sure can smell it – otherwise a sulfur stench lingering in May’s kitchen, which she notices every time she washes her dishes.

“You really don’t want to invite people over,” May comments.

But the smell isn’t just in the kitchen, it’s also in the bathroom where a black ring forms in her toilet.

“Right here when I flush, that’s when I can see the black,” May explains.

May lives on the outskirts of the village, her house is one of the furthest from the village’s water tower.

“It’s the end of the line where it gets the worst,” May explains.

The Village President, John McLeese, says (in a statement to News 8) the smell is due to a broken riser pipe that goes from the well to the top of the town’s water tower.  The water tower can only be filled to 1/3 capacity, which is why the water isn’t being purified completely.

“I don’t want to drink it,” May says bluntly.

At the only restaurant in town, The Feed Store owner Sherry McCoy grew up sipping the water.

“Yep, pretty much normal,” McCoy comments. “I love Maquon water.  I choose it over bottled water all the time.”

McCoy thinks since her restaurant is close to the water tower the water doesn’t taste as funky.

But May says she’s sick of going with the flow and seeking other options like buying cases of bottled water, gallons, and jugs.  She says she buys about a case of water a week when she should have water that is smell free coming from her tap.

The Village President says the Illinois EPA has come to inspect the tower two times, he verifies all recommendations for work on the tower have not been done or addressed to date.

He also says the water tower issue has been brought to the town board on five separate occasions and every time it is either tabled or ignored.

Residents say if they do decided to fix the water tower their water bill will go up in price.  The bill includes water, trash and sewer.

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