CLIFTON PARK: Brown water has man seeing red

Andy McGuffey has a water problem.

McGuffey, 44, spoke for more than an hour at the Wednesday, June 6, Clifton Park Water Authority meeting.

His problems started last winter when he noticed increased brown water at his Country Knolls home. He said the water authority recommended several remedies at that time, including a flush of his water pipes and heater and changing his water filter and softener.

Despite following the recommendations, the problem continued. This prompted McGuffey to contact an independent lab to test his water. He said the tests found higher than allowed levels of lead and iron in the water.

During his presentation, he brought in several water bottles that he had filled with water from his home. The water was clearly brown.

That water is what comes out of my tap, after filter and softener, McGuffey said. "You tell me if you're going to drink that."

McGuffey criticized the way the water authority handled his complaints.

"From the beginning, the water authority was defensive rather than being proactive," McGuffey said. "Their position was, 'It's not our fault.' The focus was on blaming me; there was no concern over my health and the health of my family."

Various members of the board addressed McGuffey after his 70-minute presentation.

"You make a compelling argument. This is powerful evidence here," said board member Stacy Clifford. "I can understand why you're here."

Don Austin, the water authority's administrator, has exchanged numerous e-mails with McGuffey since last winter.

"Discolored water is a fact of any water system out there," Austin said. "No matter where you get your water from, it has some level of minerals in it. I see discolored water at my house from time to time. It's just the nature of the beast."

Austin said that Clifton Park's water is safe.

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