Fairview residents still skeptical about water after boil water advisory lifted

Published: Jun. 7, 2019 at 6:24 PM EDT
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A week-long boil water advisory has been lifted in Fairview.

That doesn't necessarily make residents there feel more comfortable.

That advisory was issued in the first place because E.coli found in the water prompted restaurants and schools to close in the area.

"With the required samples that we took, we're convinced the water is safe and there's no E.coli in the water," said Marion County Health Department Administrator Lloyd White.

Despite health officials lifting the advisory, residents like Gary Michael Owens are still skeptical.

"Where did it come from?" Owens asked. "They haven't indicated one way or another exactly what caused E.coli to be in our water. So I really don't feel safe with our water."

We asked health officials for details about where E.coli came from.

"It's my understanding that the wells aren't properly protected so we have to look at the source, do a complete analysis of the water that we're using, what's the manganese, what's the iron," White said. "The higher the content of those is, the more products that we need to put in the water to offset those."

"I was surprised to hear E.coli," Owen said.

"I think it's a very old system," White said. "We do know that the green sand filters are approximately 29 years old. I think the average lifespan of those filters is about 10 years."

Owens, and others who didn't want to go on camera, say there have been water issues in the town for years. Issues like discoloration and a bad smell aren't unusual.

"I wash clothes and shower in it," Owens said. "I have drank bottled water for years."

Another question asked -- how did this get out of the system to quickly since the advisory has been lifted? White says they took several samples from different parts of town to get an accurate reading.

"Those tests take a minimum of 24 hours once they get to the lab," White said. "So we want to work as quickly to make sure the water is safe."

5 News made multiple attempts to get comment from town officials, but never heard back.

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