Knightstown residents frustrated due to brown water

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. - Many people who live in the town of Knightstown have been dealing with brown water coming out of their faucets and showers for more than two months.

Town leaders now say they expect the problem to be resolved by the end of the week. They also insist the water is safe to drink despite its color.

The town previously said the water would be back to normal by June 22, then delayed that date until July 23 due to complications with repairs at the water treatment facility.

Tina Sifford lives in Knightstown and says she is frustrated with the ongoing issues.

"The water looks like blood sometimes it's such a dark brown," Sifford said. "You get in the shower and you get out feeling dirtier then when you got in."

She says her bathtub now has brown stains due to the state of the water. She also showed FOX59 white towels that are now light brown.

"What’s inside of us now?" she asked. "That’s my worry."

The same murky conditions are present in other homes around Knightstown. Viewers started sending pictures in to FOX59 a couple weeks ago.

"I don’t feel that they’re doing enough," Sifford said about the town's utility management.

We reached out to the town to learn why there was a delay in getting the water issues addressed.

"It has taken a lot of time," said Beth Huffman, town clerk-treasurer. " It's caused us a lot of frustration. I live in the town myself. I want the water to be clean but I want it done correctly."

Huffman said they learned the filters at the water treatment facility needed to be replaced because they were too old. They brought in experts and discovered the water tanks needed repairs, too. The additional work slowed down the process.

"This is probably at least a $50,000 repair," Huffman said. "This is quite an investment."

Huffman said they have been testing the waster more than usual and every sample has met the standards for drinking water.

FOX59 also reached out to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management about the situation in Knightstown. A spokesperson said the brown color is "strictly cosmetic" and not causing a health hazard. The spokesperson also provided this update Tuesday afternoon:

"An IDEM inspector was in Knightstown today. Knightstown’s drinking water staff have replaced the filters and are going to take some bacteriological samples before putting them back on line. The new filters will drastically reduce the iron content and improve the water’s aesthetics which was confirmed today visually and in the first round of sampling."

Sifford says she just wants to see this ordeal end.

"I want to see them get this done and fixed right," she said.

The town said the new filters are expected to be online by Wednesday and water should be clear by the end of the week.