Lone Grove residents may see a change in their water this week as city crews work to install the new Greensand filtration systems on two of the city’s wells.
In 2013, residents began noticing that their water had a brown tint to it and were afraid to drink the water. However, brown tinted water is common for citizens who receive their drinking water from wells, and oftentimes not harmful, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We’re hoping the new system will have a big impact on taking the minerals out of the water,” City Manager Ian O’Neal said. “We’ve been doing research on the Greensand system for three years now, but it has been out of our price range. But, the price has dropped and now we can finally afford it.”
The brown discoloration in the water is caused when chlorine  highlights the iron and manganese making it appear a copper color. However, these minerals aren’t necessarily cause for concern.
According to the EPA, iron and manganese are secondary contaminants that may cause cosmetic effects “such as hair, skin, or tooth discoloration” when at high enough levels in drinking water. Manganese is typically black to brown in color and can cause black staining. High enough levels of iron can also cause the water to be a rusty color. Both minerals give water a metallic taste.
While the EPA contends that these minerals are safe to drink and non-health threatening, the agency says if the contaminants discolor the water, or make it cloudy or murky, residents may be afraid and stop drinking the water.
O’Neal said crews will begin installing the new Greensand filters today. Installation was supposed to begin yesterday, but two water line breaks that happened on Tuesday kept city crews busy.
O’Neal said that some residents could experience discolored water from the water line breaks because mud and grime can get into the water and cause it to be discolored.
The city will pay around $149,000 for both of the filtration units, O’Neal said.
Lone Grove will implement filtration systems on the city’s other two wells next year, city officials said.
“The new filters should take out the minerals from the water and change the taste as well,” O’Neal said.