Local News

Lucama residents fed up with murky, smelly water

Posted October 30, 2018 6:51 p.m. EDT

— From house to house and faucet to faucet, Lucama residents are frustrated with what's in the water.

Tiffany Fragoso is one of the town’s 1,100 residents, and she said that for decades tap water has been murky brown or reeking of chemicals as crews flush the pipes.

“You can’t drink that,” Fragoso said. “You don’t even want it around you.”

“When you open it up, it smells like sulfur,” she continued.

Every day she has to use bottled water for simple tasks like brushing her teeth and cooking.

“You almost feel like you’re living in a third-world country,” she said. “I mean, you shouldn’t have to go to a faucet and you don’t know from this time to the next time whether you’re going to get brown water or chemical water or water that’s actually suitable to drink.”

Lucama's mayor couldn't be reached for a comment, but Commissioner Patricia Uzzell said she's frustrated, too.

She doesn't know why the water issue hasn't been resolved, and it’s causing her to lose sleep, she said.

“I've cried,” she said. “I get up every morning, and I pray every morning, and I keep it in my Bible and I have the map of Lucama. And my first thing every morning is, ‘God, bless Lucama with clean water.’”

Uzzell said she'll fight to get answers.

“People are just looking over it like it's not important, just overlooking it,” she said.

A spokesperson for state’s Department of Environmental Quality said the agency is working with the town's engineer on two projects that will address iron and manganese issues with the water.

The town has to submit a plan for that construction within the next two days.