KANSAS, Ill. (WCIA) — For two years now, the Village of Kansas has been dealing with water issues, leaving residents wondering if the water is safe.
“It either stinks, smells funny, or it tastes weird,” said Jeffery McCoy.
McCoy said the water isn’t useable, and his family has been buying seven five-gallon water jugs from Walmart every month to get by.
Mayor Ross Carrell said last year that the water was safe despite the yellow color and fishy smell. He still says the water is safe. But some people in Kansas disagree and they said it gets worse when it rains.
“It’s just been really yellowy, and sometimes it really smells like iron, and you just feel gross after getting out of the shower, and you don’t want to drink it,” Ivy Shanks said. “Now it’s bleachy, smelling like a pool.”
Shanks is a new mom, and doesn’t trust the water to bathe her three-month-old daughter in. Her dad said the water has been burning his face, and he’s not alone. McCoy said it’s been causing him some serious issues.
“I do have a stoma because I have a colostomy bag,” McCoy said. “It has burned for the past three days whenever I’ve taken a shower. Not only is it burning but now I am bleeding where I didn’t use to.”
McCoy and Shanks said they have been buying water in bulk to drink, cook, and bathe, but they still use the village water for their laundry.
“If I put my white dress shirt in there, they will come back yellow tinted and stained,” McCoy said.
McCoy wants to know what is being done to get it fixed. Carrell said the village is working on it.
“We’ve cleaned out the retention tank, we’ve got electrical service done on the pumps, we’ve had to renew the media in our filters and we’re still in the process of fixing the water softener,” he said.
Carrell said their water softener has been broken, so there is a lot of iron in the water, which can be one cause for the smell and color. But Shanks said something more needs to be done.
“If the water is bad like that, they should put a boil order on then or just say don’t use the water simply, and nothing has been said to us about it,” Shanks said.
Carrell hopes to get grants to address the issues, but she said it’s a long process.
Another concern residents brought up is that the people working at the water plant are not certified, which Carrell confirmed. The village is working under a mutual aid agreement with Ashmore’s water superintendent. He goes to Kansas to check up on things and to train the two men working at the plant.
Carrell said they can’t afford to pay someone who is qualified to do it on their own.