Lumberton's 'muddy water' clears with new pump

Lumberton's 'muddy water' clears with new pump

Many Lumberton residents got a nasty surprise over the weekend when a water pump repair caused their tap water to turn brown, while some had already been experiencing discoloration for weeks stemming from the initial pump failure.

Boykin Place neighbors took to Facebook to air their concerns about the quality of the water and about the lack of notice regarding the issue from their water provider, the Lumberton Municipal Utility District (MUD).

A Lumberton resident living on Rosewood Drive posted a comment to Facebook, stating, “First time on city water, always had well and this is crazy how nasty it looks. Had chunks come out of my faucet yesterday while giving my baby a bath!”

Another asserted, “Ours has been brown for over a month. Not paying for dirty water.”

MUD District Manager Roger Fussell says they have since cleared up the issue, and the water, in spite of the discoloration some customers experienced, was still safe to drink and use.

“We did have a pump issue,” Fussell explained. “We have several hundred miles of lines, and there are sometimes breaks in the lines that can cause discoloration. We have four wells and four pumping systems. In this case, a pump motor went out a few weeks ago, around the Christmas holidays.”

MUD staff regularly flushed the water lines when the pump was broken while they were waiting for a new pump motor to be shipped, asserted Fussell. The pump was repaired late last week, which is why customers experienced increased incidents of discolored, sometimes gritty water over the weekend, he said.

According to Fussell, the increased power of the new, technologically advanced pump motor agitated sediment that had settled in the lines, causing the tap water to have a muddy appearance and, in some cases, “chunks.”

“Velocity and the changing direction of circulating water can disturb sediment in the pipes,” he described. “We try to be very proactive when there is any issue. We have a great well system. All our water comes from deep wells.

“We do apologize.”


A Lumberton resident who spoke to The Examiner on Feb. 1 said she had brown water over the weekend, but now her water is running clear.