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Discolored water concerns some Heritage Ranch residents

Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 22:03:22-04

Some people in Heritage Ranch by Lake Nacimiento are refusing to drink their tap water because they say it has an unusual smell and appearance. 
 
Water regulators test the water monthly and found higher levels of manganese in raw water from the lake’s reservoir.
  
The district tested the raw water Thursday morning and found it had manganese levels 10 times higher than the beginning of the month. 
 
"The sudden increase and the high levels of manganese allowed some dissolved manganese to pass through the filtration step and not be removed by the manganese treatment, so that’s what customers are seeing. It is oxidized manganese," explained Jason Molinari, Operations of Heritage Ranch Community Services. 
 
Manganese is a mineral found in nature and can change the look of water if the levels are above 0.05 milligrams per liter. It could be because the mineral content in the water source fluctuates.
 
People might get a yellow or brown and sometimes even green tint to their water, but that’s because it has leftover manganese. It should look clear once it is filtered, and it is safe to drink.
 
"It’s just aesthetic, visual, no primary health effects. We are removing currently 97%. We have calibrated all of the equipment so it is all working correctly. " 
 
After the raw water is filtered, manganese levels fall below the maximum allowance. 
 
The Heritage Community Services District will soon flush the distribution system to get rid of residue, and says the water color should be back to normal in a couple days. The district also plans to test the water more often.