WSSC is aware of the increase in discolored water complaints coming from customers in Montgomery County served by the Potomac Water Filtration Plant. WSSC performs more than 100 water quality tests every day, and all current test results indicate that the water is safe.
WSSC water quality experts have noticed a recent increase in naturally-occurring organic material in the Potomac River, possibly caused by severe weather. It is common practice to adjust the water treatment process due to changing river conditions, and WSSC made a slight treatment modification at the Potomac Plant to resolve this issue. This treatment process change caused an increase in manganese in the drinking water supply, which is causing the discolored water. Manganese is another naturally occurring mineral present in the Potomac River and is not a health hazard at the level found in our drinking water. From a public health standpoint, it is more important to address the naturally-occurring organic material versus the aesthetic issue of manganese.
WSSC believes the discolored water may persist for several weeks, and will closely monitor river conditions and change treatment processes accordingly.
WSSC’s other treatment plant draws water from the Patuxent River, which is unaffected by the changes in the Potomac River.
If you are experiencing discolored water, please call us at 301-206-4002, or email us at [email protected], so we can better track this issue.
WSSC does not recommend using discolored water to do laundry. If clothing gets stained, immediately wash the clothes again using a rust remover product. This type of product is available in most supermarkets or you can contact WSSC at 301-206-4002 or email us at [email protected] and request a stain remover.
Many readers have commented on yesterday’s Facebook post about the discolored water:
Is your water still discolored? Let us know in the comments.