Odor, taste and color are all listed complaints that Lehigh Acres customers have made about their drinking water. The Florida Governmental Utilities Authority or FGUA, has been allowed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or FDEP to disperse water with higher than standard amounts of total dissolved solids, or TDS, since 2008. Click Here to read the FGUA Public Notice.
But, for now the FGUA is going to spend $3 million in upgrades for the Lehigh Acres drinking water system.
According to Lehigh Acres resident Bruce McLaughlin, the water smells bad and is not palatable.
McLaughlin said he has noticed chalky white residue left on the inside of his dishwasher, coffee pot and ice cube trays.
McLaughlin said the drinking water smells like rotten eggs and tastes even worse.
“My palate is telling me this water is not healthy; it’s not good. And people are drinking it constantly,” McLaughlin said.
“Tell them to come over here and drink a couple glasses of my water,” he said
“We do get some complaints,” FGUA’s Jerry Connolly said.
FGUA has a higher than standard amounts of total dissolved solids exemption that expires later this year.
Connolly said the main TDS found in Lehigh Acres water is calcium.
“Too much calcium isn’t a good thing. At the parts we’re talking about, though, it’s not harmful. It just makes the water hard, which is not aesthetically pleasing to customers,” he said.
“It can precipitate in your dishwasher. When you heat the water in your coffee pot you get a white residue. That residue is primarily calcium,” Gary Deremer, president of U.S. Water, said. U.S. Water is the daily service provider for the Lehigh Acres utilities systems.
Deremer said upgrades are on the way to limit excess TDS in the water; $3 million in new pipes and filtration is to be completed by December.
This FGUA investment is paid for by utility customers through their bills.
“There will absolutely be a very noticeable improvement for all the customers. Just hold on for another six months and it should improve,” Deremer said.
According to Deremer and Connolly, they insist the water is safe. FGUA customers are notified about the TDS levels in their water on a quarterly basis. Click Here to read the lastest FGUA Public Notice.