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Vernon County High Sulfate Water Problem

Due to the large amount of hydrogen sulfate in the town's water, residents are dealing with discoloration and the smell of rotten eggs.
BRONAUGH, MO.--- Some Vernon County residents are greeted by the smell of rotten eggs every time they turn on the faucet. City workers are fighting a high sulfate water problem, and they call it a geographical issue. Due to the large amount of hydrogen sulfate in the town's water, residents are dealing with discoloration and the smell of rotten eggs. 

"It continually messes up our washing machines. I'm constantly having to buy new filters to run my water," said Lisa Hoye, Cajuns Tire and Service Manager. 

Lisa Hoye is the manager at Cajuns Tire and Service in Bronaugh. She says the water issues are costly because she's replaced washing machine filters about six times within the last year. 

"I know our fluoride levels are above what they're suppose to be, which can also ruin the children's teeth so I always buy bottle water for my cooking, drinking. Just use it for showers and laundry, that's it," said Hoye. 

Bronaugh's Water and Waste Water Operator Gary Loudermilk says he's currently using a liquid chlorine to get as much out as possible.

"Once you've hit it with chlorine that much, less starts the action of killing that off, but with the system that we've got for it at this time, we can't completely kill it off," said Gary Loudermilk, Water and Waste Water Operator. 

Which causes more problems than just dirty clothes and costly bills. 

"Anytime you've got hydrogen sulfate in the water, when it comes out of the wale, it is going to smell like rotten eggs," said Loudermilk. 

He says right now engineers in Jefferson City are working on a system that allows the city to put an aerator system back into operation, using the existing facilities. 

"Pump the water from the wale to the aerator, run it through there. Chlorinate it, back it back up to our water tower, and at that point it will be a better quality water," said Loudermilk. 

The whole process could take a few months, But Loudermilk says he's not going anywhere until the problem is fixed. 

"My main goal in this entire thing is to keep the best quality water possible running through the lines," said Loudermilk. 

Engineers from Barlett and West in Jefferson City will present a resolution to the Bronaugh Board of Alderman in February. If it's approved, the plans will be sent to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for final review. 

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