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Suez says it's working to fix brown water issue on Boise Bench

The water company is working on two long-term projects that would reduce the amount of discolored water coming from some residents' faucets.

BOISE, Idaho — For some Boise Bench residents, brown water coming out of the faucet is still an ongoing issue. It’s an issue Suez Water says it's trying to fix.

Judy Snodgrass lives on the Bench just south of Overland Road. She and about 6,000 other Suez customers are dealing with the brown water.

Snodgrass said the brown water comes out around two times a month.

“We've been dealing with it at least three to four years that I recall,” she said.

On a normal day, Snodgrass said she doesn’t deal with the brown water, but when it does happen it still is an inconvenience for her and her grandson.

“He is six years old and he’s a little boy and he gets dirty and putting him in that kind of water, my daughter isn't happy about it,” she said. “I'm not crazy about washing my hair in water that comes out like that.”

Suez has determined some potential causes of the brown water. The company is working on some long-term and short-term plans to address it.

One of the short-term plans is to do what’s called a multi-directional flushing technique, or powerflush the water main pipes. The company did this for the first time back in May, and plans on doing it again on Oct. 7.

RELATED: SUEZ begins flushing out brown water in Boise Bench

This process involves blasting water at high pressure to clean out the water mains. Jane Kreller with Suez said this is something the company will have to do for several years due to the age of the infrastructure on the Boise Bench.

The utility is also working to replace water main pipes that were installed between 90 and 70 years ago. Kreller said they’ve identified eight water mains that need to be replaced.

Suez is working on another long-term solution. According to Kreller, the company will be conducting a well filtration study next year. If the results show that the well could be another source for the discolored water, the company would start the work to remedy that issue sometime in 2021. Meanwhile, the pipe replacement is scheduled to start up next year.

RELATED: Boise Bench residents express concern about brown water at meeting

Suez said the short-term plan of multi-directional flushing is working. In February, the company told KTVB they had 78 calls for discolored water from customers. That number has dropped down to 14 in September, according to Kreller.

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