Lab OK’s Cobblestone Water

BLYTHEWOOD (March 3, 2016) – The results are in, and by all measurable standards the water in Cobblestone is fine. At least at the source.

But Cobblestone residents served by Winnsboro Water are still complaining of foul odor and unpleasant taste when they turn on their faucets, Otis Williams, Director of Winnsboro Water, said Tuesday.

“We think more and more that it’s an internal plumbing issue,” Williams said.

Williams said he hopes to get confirmation on that assessment in coming weeks. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has taken test samples from internal faucets, Williams said, and the results of those tests were still pending at press time.

Winnsboro, meanwhile, took samples from fire hydrants in the Primrose, Goldenrod and Summersweet Court – as well as other areas – in Cobblestone last month. Those samples were sent to the Engineering Performance Solutions labs in Jacksonville, Fla. for testing.

Blythewood Town Council, during their Feb. 22 meeting, reviewed the results. Town Administrator Gary Parker told Council that, in short, the water was fine and fit to drink. Parker speculated that stagnant water was building up in lines in newly developed areas. In those areas, he said, not enough homes are yet connected to the lines to provide a constant, steady flow of water.

“You have water that isn’t being circulated enough through the water lines because there are not enough houses built onto that line drafting water out of that line and keeping water circulating,” Parker said. “That can lead to some people noticing a taste or odor. That’s a common problem in lines.”

But Williams noted that complainants were not having issues throughout their homes – only in one or two faucets. The odor and taste dissipates with the running of water, Williams said, but the isolated nature of the irregularity leads him to believe the problem is with the plumbing.

“I don’t want to speculate about what kind of plumbing materials that were used (in construction),” Williams said. “They’ve got something going on, though. We just can’t put our finger on it. We want to make sure we cover all our bases.”

The Florida lab tested for bacteriological matter that could build up in water lines that were not flushed regularly. According to the lab, the threshold for such matter becoming problematic and causing a foul taste or unpleasant odor is between 5 and 10 nanograms per liter. Winnsboro’s samples taken from Cobblestone hydrants all came in at less than 2 nanograms per liter.

“As far as the bacteriological component goes,” Williams said, “it’s clean as a whistle.”