The City of Newport today announced that the Newport Water Division, which supplies drinking water to the majority of Aquidneck Island, is currently performing hydrant flushing after receiving reports of discolored water in parts of Middletown and Portsmouth.
After investigating the reports, the City says that the Water Division personnel determined that water being drawn from the Lawton Valley Reservoir in Portsmouth was displaying increased level of manganese, a naturally occurring mineral that can affect the taste, odor, and color in drinking water.
The service area for the Lawton Valley Plant includes the majority of Middletown and the Portsmouth Water & Fire District, however, does not supply Newport customers.
Upon determining the cause, Newport Water began drawing from the Watson Reservoir in Little Compton and the treatment has greatly improved. For the past two days, hydrant flushing has been used to expedite the discharge of any problem water still in the system’s water storage tanks and introduce the improved water into circulation.
Manganese is mineral and is a Secondary Drinking Water Standard. Secondary Drinking Water Standards established by EPA are non-enforceable guidelines regarding contaminants that may cause aesthetic effects such as taste, odor or color in drinking water.
Newport Water apologizes for the inconvenience and is working to diligently to correct the situation, according to the City.