• Drinking water looks normal but has foul smell, local residents say

    By: Liz Foster

    Updated:

    HARRISBURG, N.C. - Thousands of families in Cabarrus and Stanly counties said their water may look normal, but they can’t drink it due to its odd taste and smell. Some even believe it’s causing health problems.

    “We all had a tummy problem,” Concord resident Medha Shenoy said.

    Lauren Fields, who also lives in Concord, told Channel 9, “My skin started breaking out. The smell -- it smelled like mildew.”

    Fields has been cooking filtered water from her refrigerator after she noticed an odd smell and taste in her tap water about two weeks ago.

    She’s not alone.

    “Smells like as if some sewer is mixed in the water,” Shenoy said.

    So many people complained that the city of Concord and the town of Harrisburg posted information online to address concerns regarding the “pond-like odor.” 

    Eyewitness News learned the water comes from the Tuckertown Reservoir in Albemarle. The utilities director there told Channel 9 anchor Liz Foster the smell started a couple of weeks ago after an algae bloom in the water. 

    She insists the water is tested daily, has stayed within government guidelines and is safe to drink. 

    But some families aren’t so sure. 


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    Shenoy asked, “If it is safe to drink, then why does it smell?” 

    Fields said, “I think it’s weird to me that something that can possibly carry toxins is safe for us to drink, especially with such an odor that comes out.”

    Residents said boiling the water doesn’t get rid of the smell and neither does using extra laundry detergent when they wash their clothes.

    Officials in both Albemarle and Concord said they are flushing pipes to help with the problem and the water should return to normal within the next few days.

    Some people who’ve installed whole home water filtration systems said they haven’t noticed the problem.

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