Brown water in Pittsburgh

Last Friday morning just as I rinsed my toothbrush after finished brushing my teeth, the water coming out of the tap turned brown, along with my electric toothbrush. I don't know what was coming out of the pipes, but there was no way I was putting it into my mouth. I made the mistake of flushing the toilet, which also turned brown. I finshed dressing and prepared to go out–the water was still brown. I put the issue on hold and went to meet the Somali I'm tutoring. We meet at the library. I spoke to two librarians to find out whom I should bitch to. To my great surprise neither seemed troubled by the idea of brown water coming out of the tap. Before I returned home I bought bottled water, which I don't like to use, but I don't know what else to do. I sent an email to the water company and got one of those automated emails telling me they would reply in one to three business days. Time's up.

This is not the first time it's happened. The first night we lived in Pittsburgh, four years ago, brown water came out of the tap. We called the water department and were assured it was OK. What does that mean. An hour ago, I went to wash my hands after I walked in: the water was brown. I decided dirty hands were better.

I don't recall ever having this happen when I lived in Chicago or New Jersey. When someone was working on the plumbing and shut off the water you got a spurt of rusty water lasting only for seconds. This is an entirely different issue. Where do I bitch next: Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Tribune Review or the EPA? Any suggestions?

5 thoughts on “Brown water in Pittsburgh

  1. OKOK, I’m here to remind you that the brown water is gone, and your old picture is still up when you leave notes. Nope, I don’t know how to change it, but the new picture is infinitely better. Thanks for your kind words about that appalling quilt……it still has to have one edge of the binding taken off and redone. What a mess.

  2. Yes, five or ten minutes, fine. Not days. I’d call my council person. They all have staff member’s whose duties it is to solve little problems. Newspapers have “help” columns these days….anything to bring in customers. Go make a fuss.
    Yes, I would have liked to have seen books of funerals. One always has baby books, wedding albums, why not have death or funeral albums too. I can’t find anyone doing that on the web tho.

  3. Talk to them all – no need to go one at a time. And contact your local chapters of environmental groups (Sierra Club, etc.). Contact the Pittsburgh equivalent of the local alderman as well. Finally, are there local bloggers covering area water/environmental issues? You could also send out a Tweet. What about local colleges/universities? The more people you talk to, the more likely you’ll get a response.

  4. Alas, no suggestions but I’d be completely disgusted just like you are! I’ll ask my Pittsburgh friend what she thinks about it, and if she ever has brown water problems somewhere on the north side I think.
    btw, I really like the new picture of you; just noticed it for the first time today.

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