Parma residents complain about dirty water

By Tyler Profilet

PARMA, MO (KFVS) - Many people in Parma say the water in town is so brown, they can't drink it or even wash their clothes in it.

Parma city officials say it's the high iron content in the water.  They say the water is healthy, even though it may look bad.

But that's not good enough for many people in Parma.

"Some days it comes out really, really brown, and then some days it comes out a light brown," said Parma resident Nelvia Donaldson.

Regardless of how it looks, folks agree the water in Parma is pretty nasty looking.

"It tastes like chlorine, and when it doesn't taste like chlorine, it looks like rust," said Floyd Wade.

Wade says he has been buying bottled water for five years, and would never drink the water in town.

"I wouldn't feed it to my dog and I certainly wouldn't drink it or give it to my children," he said.

The brown water isn't just bad for drinking.

"We have to wash our clothes in it, they're not coming out clean," Donaldson said.  "You have to buy whitener for your clothes. You bathe in the water, some of the children has broken out with rashes, I have rashes on my back I went to the doctor for."

Steve Lewis with the Parma Water District says the water may look bad, but the iron content isn't harmful and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources says it meets all state regulations.

But just because it's safe, doesn't mean the people like it.

"Some of the board members say they get the same type of water and they drink it," Donaldson said. "I don't know what their system if made out of in their stomach, but it's better than ours."

Lewis with the Parma water district says the city has issued boil orders in the past, but those instances don't happen frequently.

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