Ironwood, Hurley Residents Voice Concerns Over Water Quality

Ryan Juntti
Updated: August 12, 2019 11:33 PM

At least 50 concerned citizens packed the Ironwood Memorial Building on Monday night with the quality, and clarity of their water coming front and center.

"Our fear is because of the color of water that's coming out of our taps, there must be some kind of sediment. Manganese sediment building up in the pipes," said Savanna Campbell of Ironwood.

City Manager Scott Erickson says manganese has been in the water for decades. He insists that the level of manganese is under the thresholds for EPA and state requirements.

Related: Ironwood/Hurley Residents Told to Use Bottled Water for Infants

The city has announced that parents of infants 12 months and under will be provided free bottled water. This is because the city says infants who consume water with levels of manganese over 300 parts per billion could be subject to learning and behavior problems.

But some residents who question whether their tap water is safe to drink wonder why it isn't being given to everyone.

"What about the baby that's 13 months? What about the unborn baby? What about the nursing mother? What about the people with cancer that have no immune system and the elderly?" said Paul Grbavcich of Ironwood.

Erickson says the ultimate solution to the water quality is to install a filtration system.

"We're working towards that. A lot of steps that have to take place, and doesn't happen just overnight," said Erickson.

But he says while that plan is being developed, there are temporary solutions in place that include:

  • Doing additional water testing
  • Cleaning the water tanks
  • Looking into a more effective way to flush the system

And until the problem is solved, Erickson is asking for the public's patience.

"This is a hot button topic, so some people will get quite excited about it, which we understand. At the same point our city commission and staff are listening to the public, and moving forward with the necessary steps to help address it," said Erickson.

The city says they still need to figure out how to build the filtration plant, and how to fund it. In the meantime, they will keep giving bottled water to anyone who is concerned about their water quality.


Ryan Juntti

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