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Troup addresses water discoloration

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TROUP (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Rock star Frank Zappa once wrote a song about not eating yellow snow, but a Troup city official said Thursday that the discolored water coming out of town taps is perfectly fine to drink.

The discoloration started more than two months ago when a city well was taken offline.

During renovation of its above- ground storage tank -- a project estimated to cost about $170,000 -- Troup was forced to shut down Well No. 2 and go back to the original Well No. 1, City Administrator Gene Cottle said.

He said there's a lot of discoloration in the water when it's pumped out of that original well simply because that's how it comes out of the ground.

"The water's not bad or anything like that. It just has a very distinctive color," he said. "It's pretty yellow. It's perfectly drinkable but always creates problems for ... washing clothes when it's that yellow."

But city officials project the discoloration will be eliminated in the coming weeks.

Troup filled up the renovated storage tank, testing was done and about a week ago, the city was able to get Well No. 2 back online, Cottle said.

He said as that well's clear water mixes with the yellow water already in system, the water will get back to normal.

That process may take longer in some areas of Troup because of the original design of the distribution system, Cottle said.

"When they needed to run water somewhere, they just tapped on to the end of the line and ran another main out, so there's not a lot of looping that goes on at end of a main," he said. "The only usage that takes place is what customers use on that end so the water for them is going to clear up less quickly than for someone else in a high-usage area."

He added, "When people come to pay their water bill, they say 'What's wrong with the water? When's it going to be better?' (But) it's all been fairly good-natured."

Troup ISD Superintendent Stuart Bird said he received no complaints, and there have been no contaminations or health concerns in the district.

"I think everybody in town pretty much knew what was going on...," he said. "It is quite a bit better."

Joe McElroy, who lives outside the city, said when the water is not clear, "You just kind of hesitate to drink it," and the toilet must be cleaned more often. However, he agreed with Bird, saying that the situation seems to be improving.

Cottle expects things to be cleared up in maybe three more weeks.

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