Lake Station officials hope they’ve seen the last of brown water in residents’ taps.
Mayor Christopher Anderson reported Thursday an interconnector pipe was recently installed by a LaPorte company under Burns Ditch on Indiana 51 to provide the city with a back-up supply from the Indiana American Water Co.
H&G Underground Utilities completed the installation for $158,000. The original back-up line was damaged when work began on the state reconstruction of the Indiana 51 bridge last year. Because the line is in the state’s easement, the state wasn’t liable for the repair, officials said.
Now, however, the city needs to do a comprehensive flush of all of its hydrants, Anderson said. That can only be done in warmer weather.
Anderson cautioned that if a water main breaks, there could be a recurrence of brown water. Officials believe the problem is caused by mineral sediment being stirred up when water tanks are low.
“Run water and flush it out till the brown water goes away,” he said. “We’ll adjust bills if that happens.”
City residents have complained about brown tap water for months. While the water doesn’t look good, water tests show it’s not contaminated, according to officials.
Lake Station has its own water utility that draws water from a series of wells. It has agreed to sell its utility plant to Indiana American for $20.7 million, but the sale has been challenged in court.