Brown, cloudy water raise concerns among Atoka residents

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ATOKA, OK -- Atoka residents told us the water coming out of their faucets is brown, but the city said it poses no danger to their health.

Dan Cox was baffled to see brown water coming out of his faucet.

"Do I take a bath or get something to drink at the store? Because I'm not drinking the stuff coming out of my tap water," he said.

Atoka Water Superintendent, Jerry Hill said they've been getting a lot of calls from residents concerning brown, muddy water.

"We're losing water and we're increasing our concentration of chemicals so it was just a nightmare," he said.

Hill said the three-year drought significantly lowered water levels in Atoka Lake and McGee Creek, causing mud to make it in the city's water supply.

"When the drought came, it pretty much dried up everything and wind came through and wiped out a lot of the top soil and exposed the mineral deposits they have underneath," he said.

He said a chemical reaction between chlorine and minerals found in the water--iron and manganese--also caused the water to turn brown.

Atoka residents were concerned that whenever they open up their faucets the water was brown and cloudy, but Hill said it's nothing to worry about.

"It's brown because it got chlorine in It. Chlorine is the disinfectant , it's pretty much the universal disinfectant and it makes the water safe," he said.

But Cox said he won't risk drinking the water.

"I'm drinking brown water I'm thinking diarrhea later on, and that's the truth of it. So, I'll go to the store to get good, clear water," said Cox.

Hill said the water should clear up by next week, but if residents still see muddy water coming out of their faucets, he said keep the water running to flush it out.

"If you happen to be in that little zone where there's brown water, then you just open up your faucet and let it flow for a couple of hours and that will add quick fresh water into it," he said.

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