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Carthage's Smelly Water Has Cost City

Carthage has spent a second consecutive summer dealing with discolored and smelly tap water.

While the water is safe, it was unsavory. The city used extra chemical treatment in an effort to reduce the problems.

Mayor Jim Nightingale says the has spent 52% of the budgeted amount for chemical treatment just one-third of the way through the city's fiscal year.

He says, “It did have an odor and a funny taste to it. So, we've spent a lot of extra money trying to take that out. I think we still need to take a hard look at what we're doing and maybe there's a better solution than what we're doing.”

He says the extra costs meant the city just broke even on its water sales when it should have had a healthy revenue stream from them. The situation was complicated by a need to buy additional water from Hamilton when the city's lake level dropped.

The city also spent $13,000 on three aerators in the city's lake. They add oxygen to the water and mix the water levels so it is not stagnant. The hope was they would reduce discoloration and odors in the water.

Nightingale says they don't seem to have made much difference. But he says the hot, dry summer and low lake level were not a fair test of their benefits.