Lincoln fighting water problem

LINCOLN, N.D. - The city of Lincoln says the tap water is dirty, but not dangerous.

Of course, that's not so reassuring for residents, who have been complaining about the sediment and the smell.

The city of Lincoln installed a new water line in the fall after issues with water restrictions over the summer. It connects to the Bismarck system and runs along 66th Street. This is one of two water systems for Lincoln. But after a Special Meeting Wednesday night, the city is back to only one.

After fielding complaints and concerns over dirty water in homes, Lincoln is flushing the new lines.

"They don't appear to be anything more than sand and clay particles. And so, the water is safe, but we understand that it's not as pristine as what they're used to seeing,” said City Engineer Kenneth Nysether.

After turning off the new line, engineers and council members opened the hydrants until the water was clear.

The discoloration is caused by a high amount of sediment ending up in the pipes.
City engineers don't think it's caused by a break in the line. Rather, an issue with filtering the water when the line first opened.

"The line was decontaminated and made sure to be clean, but we didn't move enough water through it to get the sediments from construction completely out of the system," Nysether said.

Four hydrants were flushed; each one pushing out 600 gallons a minute. More than one million gallons of water has already been flushed, and they may use another million.

They hope to have the pipe open by early next week after another round of hydrant flushes.

Your News Leader spoke with a resident who didn't want to be identified, but she said she doesn't feel safe drinking the water.

Lincoln and the contractors who installed the line have been in contact regarding the issues the city is having. They have not confirmed discussions on damage costs.

The city is not in a boil order and say the chlorine levels indicate that any and all bacteria has been killed.