Danielle Donnelly-Kerlin said that a good day for them is when the water does not emit a very strong smell and the colour is clear. She has been residing in Rockdale from when she was a freshman student in high school. She thinks that their city needs to contact a PVC pipe wholesaler because she can’t remember a moment when the water they are using is not red and she referred to it as their bad days.
She said that red water is everywhere in the house. In the kitchen, turning the faucet on means they can expect to see coffee-like water to flow. Donnelly-Kerlin shared that every month there is a random day where everything in the house is red water and this is the reason why they have to stock up with bottled water daily.
She expresses her disappointment with the city because it is their responsibility to provide water for the residents but the fact is that they can’t even use it.
According to Chris Whittaker, the city manager of Rockdale, majority of the pipes and all those on the eastern part of the town is made of cast iron which is originally constructed in 1902.
Whittaker said that the red water is caused by a combination of things – rust in pipers, high-level content of magnesium and iron and the pipes are located on a dead-end. The red water is stirred up to the surface if main break is conducted and will eventually be flushed out again.
The water infrastructure in Rockdale is not modernized because of the existence of water treatment plant that has been in operation for seven decades and a sewer line that is composed of cracking clay.
Whittaker said that improvements have been happening for several years but it is slow. They were able to change a number of the cast iron pipe and replaced it with PVC pipe. They have already received block grants for the community development project provided by the government.
He said that the grants are only $300,000 which is enough for one block of pipe and according to a PVC pipe wholesaler they would need a total of $44 million in order to replace everything.