Water concerns, odor and taste linger in Moulton

MOULTON, Ala. (WAFF) – The servers at Country Kitchen say the bad-smelling water in Moulton is getting worse and worse. At first, their customers complained about their glasses of water having a strong chlorine-like taste and smell. Now, they say customers are tasting it in their coffee, tea and even their food.

Country Kitchen Server Ladonna Collier says when she opens up the ice machine first thing in the morning, the smell just hits her.

“When you open the ice, because it’s been closed overnight there’s a stench to it just a smell and when you run the water I can smell it,” said Collier.

Councilmember Brent White says the Alabama Department of Environmental Management determined the water is safe to drink. Now, city leaders have to make sure it’s palatable.

Moulton Mayor Roger Weatherwax says they’ve been treating it with hydrogen peroxide. Councilmember White says they’re adding copper sulfate to the lake on May 16.

He says the strange water smell and taste come up often. White says this is because of algae blooms. They usually treat the plant with copper sulfate to make the issues subside.

This time, he says it’s lasting longer than usual so they’re adding it to the lake itself.

He says they want to get to the core of the problem. The city is bringing in a team to collect and test water samples for four months. White says he thinks this will happen during the fall.

All of this is going on while the water superintendent position is in limbo. The Mayor dismissed former Water Superintendent Jerry “Jay” Johnson for allegedly harassing an employee in March.

The city personnel board submitted their recommendation to reinstate him in May. Councilmember Cassandra Lee says most of the Moulton City Council agrees with the recommendation.

“He (Johnson) just shows commitment and to find somebody who is going to be as committed and as knowledgeable as him for me would be a task,” said Councilmember Lee.

The city council has to officially vote to reinstate him. There is a city council meeting on Monday but reinstating the water superintendent is not on the agenda.

Councilmember Lee says she’s ready to take action tonight. “We’ll just see how it starts off and if nobody else will make a motion then I will,” she said.

The mayor said this is all up to the council and he has no other comment on the matter.

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