A hard water controversy is brewing in Wilson County and affecting as many as 9,000 residents.
The problem has gotten so bad that some people say they have purchased new dishwashers and water heaters to replace ones ruined by hard water.
Shawn Smith lives in the Five Oaks subdivision. He showed News 2 faucets caked with green-looking sediment.
He also showed News 2 what he drained out of water heater just Sunday night, which resembles fish gravel.
“I’ve lived here 10 years and never had an issue like this,” Smith said.
He said his skin itches and his clothes are stiff. Dishes don’t get clean and appliances are breaking. And after boiling the water, what’s left in the pot looks like baking soda.
Smith and his neighbors say the cause of all the troubles is hard water, and it’s coming from the Laguardo Utility District.
The district recently built a new treatment plant that supplies around 3,000 customers with water pulled from a well.
Dewey Branstetter, an attorney representing Laguardo, said that hard water is common throughout Middle Tennessee and the water that comes out of Smiths’ tap meets all standards and is safe for drinking.
He also said they are surveying options after receiving complaints.
“The district, based upon the complaints of customers, is looking at the possibility of seeing if there are some safe and economically feasible things that can be done at the water treatment plant to lower the amount of calcium and magnesium that’s in the water to make it less hard, to make it softer.”
Branstetter said utility officials have visited with other water systems.
“Nobody wants unsatisfied customers,” he added.
Branstetter also told News 2 the water is not as hard as some.
“Laguardo’s water at peak is 170 mg per liter, which falls in the moderate to high category, but some water systems in Middle Tennessee routinely run 300 mg per liter on the hard scale,” he explained. “Laguardo is harder than it was; not as hard as other water providers in the area.”
The water company has told residents which products to use for washing and suggested turning down the heat on the water heaters.
In the meantime, many neighbors plan to be at the board meeting at the Laguardo Utility District Tuesday night to voice their concerns.