Wellington Residents Complain About Water

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WELLINGTON, Kan. -- Some residents in Wellington say they've noticed a big change in the quality of their water-- but is it safe to drink? They say they're frustrated and want answers.

Chaylin Baumgartner says it's a problem she's noticed in recent weeks. She won't let her children drink anything from the tap.

"It's definitely frustrating," she said. "You don't want them to get sick because you feel helpless... you can't do anything about it."

Some Wellington restaurants say they're having problems too.

Judy Tewell at El Chile Verde, says their restaurant got a head-start on the problem three years ago, when they started using a double-filter system. Most customers don't notice any difference in quality in the water, but it doesn't eliminate the problem entirely.

"It's kind of going back to the better taste, so you just have to ride it out."

City leaders say the problem is connected to the water turning in the lake. Interim city manager Shane Shields says the water is still safe to drink, and is being treated.

Because Wellington has been flushing the system to fix the problem, five water mains have broken this week. Shields says that releases some of the deposits in the line and causes the rusty, dirty water.

To help assure the best quality of water, Shields said Wellington tests it every day.

However, in 2012, the City of Wellington did have one lapse. The city did not conduct a lead and copper test from June to September 2012, but it did make up the tests in 2013. Residents were notified of the problem in February. The city passed water inspections in 2013, he said.

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