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Stouchsburg families impacted by mysterious water contamination

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 11 2014 03:40:21 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 05:02:57 PM CDT

Families in a small Marion Township village are facing a mysterious contamination in their well water.

MARION TWP., Pa. -

Families in a small Marion Township village are facing a mysterious contamination in their well water.

"It's kind of brown, murky… kind of a yellowish color," said Tyler Brubaker. "It's just gross looking."

"It smells, too," said Wayne Porr. "I don't know how to describe it. It's just nasty."

Officials said since Monday afternoon, at least six households have reported the water problem, all along Main Street in Stouchsburg.

"It's a concern. We certainly don't want anybody to get sick from it," said Roy Zartman, chairman of the Marion Township Board of Supervisors.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Zartman said a cause was unknown but under investigation. He notified the Department of Environmental Protection, several local emergency agencies and the Berks County Conservation. He said water samples were being tested, with results expected by Wednesday.

"They're at a lab being analyzed now," Zartman told 69 News. "Once we know what the cause is, we can take an action to correct it."

In the meantime, residents were issued warnings about the water - advised not to drink it, and to use "discretion" when bathing or washing.

A water buffalo tank, provided by the Western Berks Water Authority, was provided outside near the homes affected.

"I'm just hoping that it gets fixed as soon as possible, to get back to normal," said Brubaker.

Officials said a similar problem occurred 10 to 12 years ago after manure was spread on a nearby farm.