This town has been dealing with water problems for years. They're desperate for a solution.

This town has been dealing with water problems for years. They're desperate for a solution.
Posted at 5:15 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 08:10:26-04

WAVERLY, Va. -- A Waverly woman reached out to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers after her water turned brown, one of several water problems that have plagued the small town for decades.

"We are working very hard to correct the issues," Casey Allen, an employee with Virginia American Water, said.

"We're telling people, please be patient," Franklin Cox, the president of the Waverly Town Council, said.

However, some residents say it is hard to be patient when you turn on the faucet and get brown water.

"I don't feel safe drinking it. I don't feel safe bathing in it," Patricia Piotrowski, a concerned resident, said.

Piotrowski said the brown-tinted water has been an issue for the three years that she and her husband have lived here.

"Pretty much off and on ever since we lived here," Piotrowski said.

In June, the Town of Waverly sold its water system which dates back to the 1930s to Virginia American Water.

"The town of Waverly's water system is actually a well, supplied by wells," Allen said.

The reason behind the sale was that the town didn't have the money needed to make necessary long-term repairs.

"We don't like the red water any more than anyone else, but now we have somebody in town that's got the technology and the knowledge to fix it. The town never had that," Cox said.

In the two months, they've been accountable for the town's water supply.

"We've fixed over 40 leaks," Allen said.

By the end of the year, Allen said the company is hopeful that the discolored water will have been addressed.

"I am confident with the changes to treatment to address the iron and manganese issues that there's going to be a significant improvement, at least in the discolored water issues in the town of Waverly," Allen said.

Patricia and her husband are left frustrated over the discolored water and having to make calls to the new water company.

"They go to my water meter out in my front yard, they flush my water from the meter, from 45 minutes to an hour and a half until it cleans up," Piotrowski said.

The problems that have plagued the town's aging water infrastructure didn't happen overnight. The town said that the repairs won't happen that quickly either.

"We're telling people this problem took decades to create and it's not going to be fixed overnight but they have solutions that are coming," Cox said.

While the discolored water is expected to be in the process of being cleared up by the end of the year, Virginia American Water said they have committed $4 million for improvements in the near future.

Long-term replacement of the water mains will take place over the next five to ten years.