Charlestown officials announce beginning of the end for brown tap water

In 2019, the Indiana American Water Company purchased the failing system and constructed a filtration plant to clean out the manganese. The plant went online on
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Charlestown residents complained of brown, smelly water coming from their taps for years. The problem was an accumulation of manganese.

The city’s archaic system was incapable of keeping the water clear.

In 2019, the Indiana American Water Company purchased the failing system and constructed a filtration plant to clean out the manganese.

That system, with freshly installed new pumps, went online Friday.

“This was a long-awaited solution to help our residents have clean water from their taps,” Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges said, “but also to pave the way for the growth that’s coming our way. We want people to see good news, you want them to see clean water when they’re looking at building in your city.”

The new filtration plant cost $16 million and at capacity will trap the manganese and pump three million gallons of clear water to homes and businesses every day.

The new pumps also raise the city’s water pressure, allowing officials to eventually flush out manganese deposits that have accumulated in the pipes.

“The brown water events should reside as a result of the treatment plant,” Indiana American Water Company President Matt Prine said, “and the robust flushing treatment plan in the room that’s going to occur now that the plants in service.”

Prine said the flushing could take years.

Until that is complete, episodes could still be possible.

“It’s not uncommon,” Hodges said. “I’ve experienced it myself. We’ve had it at City Hall whenever it’s been acting up. In fact, when I took office, one of our residents brought me a jar of water and gave it to me. He said, ‘This is your reminder that you have to hold American Water accountable.’ And I took that very seriously. It sat on my desk until they had groundbreaking for this facility.”