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Oct 28, 2019

“Dirty-looking” Water is Safe to Drink – says B.W.S!

B.W.S. says that the dirty-looking water pouring out of your pipes is safe to drink. For over a week, residents in the Belize District, including the city, have been reporting that the water coming out of their pipes is brownish, discolored water.  Well, today B.W.S. held a press conference to say that there is nothing wrong with the water – it only contains elevated levels of iron that has reacted to chlorine and that gives the water the brown color.  According to the B.W.S., the problem seems to be going away.  The utility company says that they received around two hundred complaints from households that are affected.  Here’s how C.E.O. Alvan Haynes explains why you are getting discolored water through their distribution system and why it is safe to use.


Alvan Haynes

Alvan Haynes, C.E.O., B.W.S.

“The slight discoloration of the water, and sometimes, it is worse than slight; the first thing we have seen is that the water is not unsafe. However, based on our test, it is due to increased levels of iron in the water which basically comes through from the untreated water. We treat it through the plant but it does not remove the iron levels because the plant at Double Run was designed for the type of water that was tested at the time the plant was being constructed twenty-odd years ago. What we have seen is that we are getting higher levels of iron in the water than before. Now, we have experienced this in the San Ignacio area some years ago and we had to enhance the treatment to basically remove the iron levels. The problem with the iron in the water is that it reacts with the chlorine and it causes the discoloration. So, as the water sits in the system, it comes from the plant clear and as it sits in the pipes it then builds up the discoloration. So, the simple solution is to run the water a little bit so that clears out and then it is perfectly good. The main problem with the discoloration is that it would stain white clothes in the laundry. But other than that, it is safe to bathe, safe to use to cook, safe to give the dogs to drink or people to drink, etc. It is just that it has the colour which we are not used to, obviously.”

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