POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Complaints have been piling into our newsroom from Pocahontas residents who tell us their tap water smells and even tastes like the Black River. We went to Pocahontas Wednesday to "clear the water" so to speak.
"You go to brush your teeth and it's nasty," Pocahontas resident, Peggy Treanor told us. "You smell it, you taste it." Peggy said the water is so bad, even her pets turn their nose up at the water.
"I have a dog and cat and they won't even drink the city water. They smell of it and they turn around and walk off."
Treanor said she's been dealing with less than desirable water for about a month now. She lives on a fixed income but said the quality of the water is forcing her to buying gallon jugs of water.
"And for everything you use it for, it goes quickly," she told us. She questioned the safety of drinking the water. So we met up with Bill Daniel at Pocahontas Water Works to find out why residents are tasting and smelling such a difference and to see if it's safe.
Daniel told us the reason the water smells and tastes so different is all thanks to the low level of the Black River.
"We seen it coming, and so we had to do something," Daniel said. What they did is create a pump, similar to the one Pocahontas Water Works used during the flooding of 2011, to get the water to the treatment plant.
"But...by us pumping it, we're sucking up some leaves and some trash...well, dirt...which in turn makes for a taste and odor in the water," Daniel told Region 8 News.
After finding out what caused the problem, we wanted to know if it was safe for people and animals to drink.
"It's not gonna make you sick...it's just gonna make you not want to drink it," he said.
Daniel said when the water goes through the treatment plant, they have been adding extra chemicals to it to help get rid of the taste and smell.
He also said they test it daily to make sure it's safe for residents. Daniel said they've been in contact with the Health Department as well regarding the water.
"It just tastes nasty," Daniel said. "I'll be the first to tell you it tastes like dirt. But... It is getting better but it's just a matter of getting it out. Keep diluting it down and getting it out."
As far as when it'll get out, Daniel said the houses that sit in the lower plains of Pocahontas should see the smell and taste of their water returning to normal very soon. He said the higher areas of Pocahontas may have to deal with the taste and smell for a couple more weeks but hopes the problem will be cleared up by then.