Clean up begins on contaminated mud dumped near Canton water plant

PERRY TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - Work has begun to remove contaminated mud dumped by the Rover Pipeline Company at the Beach Street Quarry, a major source of drinking water for Canton and its suburbs.

The mud forced the system to take more water from other sources which has lead to smelly, discolored and foul tasting water for some customers.

Pipes leading from one plant being used, the Northwest plant are older and made of iron according to water supervisor Tyler Converse which allows water to pick up iron residue. He spoke to concerned customers at the Perry Township Community Room saying questions remain, "Is Rover gonna clean it up? When are they gonna do that? Who's gonna make 'em do that?"

He stresses that so far the city, the EPA and Rover have had excellent cooperation in the issue.

Cleveland 19 viewers are concerned, some people sent us pictures of bathing in yellow water, a sink full of orange looking water, and even an unexplained rash that broke out on a teenage boy with the change in the water.

Converse admits that he was caught by surprise when the EPA called and told him of a tip that it received that the mud was contaminated and that the agency was going to do testing. He says it explains the delay in notifying customers.

"We had to sit, wait a week and a half or so. Got the results back, guess what it is contaminated. It does have at lease diesel fuel in it. We're not sure what else because we've only grabbed a couple samples," Converse said.

A good way to visualize the problem is by thinking of a convenience store slushy. As you draw the liquid from the center, slush from the outside edges drains toward the middle and eventually up the straw.

By less water from Sugarcreek the contamination from the mud will not enter the water being drawn. He says the mud should be removed shortly. After that full scale pumping can begin and the draw on the older stations can lessen and hopefully so will the discoloration.

It is notable that the mud is from drilling going on in Ohio for the Rover Pipeline an already controversial topic. This is sure to stoke that debate.

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