Spectrum News 13: Soto Steps In to Help St. Cloud Residents Dealing with Brown Water

February 28, 2020
In The News

A congressman is stepping in after thousands of St. Cloud residents have been dealing with orange and brown sediment in their water for more than two and a half years. 

  • St. Cloud residents say they are still dealing with murky water
  • Congressman Darren Soto has stepped in to help residents
  • He's asking the EPA to provide assistance, water testing

Michelle Peters is so frustrated about the orange and brown water coming out of her faucet she’s documenting her fight and that of many others on a website she created called saintcloudwater.com. Residents also started a change.org petition about the matter.

“I cleaned my bathroom real quick. I came back and my toilet was already orange in two hours,” she said.

We’ve previously reported on how an equipment failure two and a half years ago caused St. Cloud residents to see murky water with resin come out of their tap.

U.S. Representative Darren Soto said he cares deeply about this issue especially since he serves in the environmental protection and climate change subcommittee.

He recently wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency about the situation. 

Soto said that while resin is approved by the EPA he wants technical assistance to test the water and make sure all the procedures being used are appropriate.

“So the substance itself is approved but we want to make sure in the levels that it’s in, it’s safe and so we will be working with St. Cloud and EPA to make sure the water is safe for residents,” Soto said. 

Soto also wants the EPA to provide financial assistance through their budget, block grants or other federal funds. Money that can be used to get customers filters he said or perhaps reimburse the City of St. Cloud for a process they’ve been using lately called Ice Pigging to clean the water. 

Peters said her husband has been experiencing burning and itchy skin, making her question the water’s safety.

“There’s people that have it in their washing machines, that their clothes are stained permanently,” Peters said. “They can’t get it out, not even with bleach. If it’s doing that to your appliances and your clothes, what could you possibly think it’s doing to your kidneys and liver? Your common sense says it can’t be good.”

The City is spending about $1.5 million on Ice Pigging in certain pipelines. It's procedure out of Europe where ice is pushed through the water lines, capturing the particles and removing them from the water system.