After the boil orders, smelly water complaints mount

The boil order may be over for hundreds of thousands of customers, but something else is lingering when you turn on the tap.

Video Transcript

- Well, Houston leaders are now trying to reassure everyone that the water in the city is safe to drink.

SAMICA KNIGHT: The boil water notice ended nearly three days ago, but muddy water is still coming from the faucet of at least one of the ABC 13 viewers. In fact, this young lady you see here and others are complaining about the water's smell. ABC 13 reporter Courtney Fisher is live, getting you answers this morning. Good morning to you, Courtney.

COURTNEY FISHER: Good morning, Samica. Yeah, a lot of you are saying that when you turn on your sink, your faucet, this water is smelling fishy, dirty, even mineral-ey. And so we wanted to know what's going on. Not only that, some people are saying it's much worse. Look.

- It's still dirty.

- So how long have you been boiling?

- I've been boiling since last Monday.

COURTNEY FISHER: OK, so this is Carolyn Webster. She showed us her dirty water coming from her faucet. Carolyn says she had a plumber come out, and he told her the pipes were just fine, that it's the city's pipes causing the issue. She called 311, didn't get a response, so then we called, and the city said they'd come out. As of 10:00 last night, she's still waiting.

If you're seeing what Carolyn is seeing, the city says do call 311, they will send a crew. Public Works says right now they're working through 9,400 calls about water issues.

So we want to go back to that smelly water. Now, the city says water can smell from time to time because of natural algae in our lakes. The algae is seasonal, and it's caused by a warm up or some kind of direct sunlight. We know it's been a lot warmer the last few days. It will go away.

Now, to be clear, the city has not said 100% this is why your water smells right now. Why does all that matter? Well, 85% of our city's water comes from lakes, specifically Lake Conroe, Lake Houston, and Lake Livingston. Also, the CDC says oftentimes after boil orders, people can smell chlorine due to the system flushing. So some of you might be smelling chlorine coming from your sinks.

Now, again, want to reiterate, your water is totally safe. The city says they have done a ton of testing, that you can drink it, you can brush your teeth with it, wash your face with it, no problem. If you see dirty water, or if the smell continues, call 311. Let them know. And the city says they will send a crew to check out the pipes behind your house, maybe there's a vacant building out there, and they can also flush hydrants near your house. So there's a lot of options there. As always, keep us informed, keep us updated, let us know if you're seeing any problems.