Hemphill residents plagued with brown water for the past two months

HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) - Heading into the hottest months of the year poor water quality has Hemphill families depending on bottled water to quench their thirst.

"We have run from slightly discolored water to dark, dark brown water," said Patricia Dodson, Hemphill resident.

The cost is constantly rising, paying extra for packaged water to cover cooking, bathing, and washing clothes.

"You never know when your water is going to be clean, you never know when its going to be dirty. If we feel like its clean we have to hurry up and do our laundry and try to make sure that it doesn't stain it and try and take showers real quick," said Melinda Hicks, Hemphill Resident.

G-M Water Supply supplies multiple subdivisions along the outskirts of town.

A company representative told KTRE off-camera, their water comes from the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant and that chlorine treatment causes the discoloration, not their pipes.

G-M says the water is tested for bacteria and is safe to drink.

Some aren't convinced.

"I don't cook with it or anything I have to spend extra money paying for clean water," said Hicks.

"I might as well go out to Toledo Bend Lake and dip a glass in there and drink it, because that's exactly how it looks," said Dodson.

Patricia Dodson says this is a problem they've seen before and remembers it being easily fixed.

"We'd have some discolored water for a short period of time, we'd call, they'd come flush the line out, it clear up and we'd have no problem," said Dodson.

With no clear solution, customers are sending pictures of the murky water to state regulators.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is now inspecting the City of Hemphill and G-M Water Supply.

Working around the discolored water is costing residents around a dollar a day.

Company representatives say they've started using a poly-phosphate treatment to help manage the water's color.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.