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Casselton water brown, but safe

CASSELTON, N.D. - Two recent water line breaks have left Casselton residents with brownish water since Friday.

Cass Rural Water, the city's supplier, repaired breaks June 18 and again earlier this week, causing sediment to unsettle and discolor the water in the line.

"When there's a break and they repair it, it stirs up some of the sediment in the pipe," said Brandy Pyle, Casselton city auditor. "It's not harmful, just ugly."

Pyle said the water is safe to drink and use, but advises residents to avoid washing white clothing.

Officials expect water to run clear by the end of the week as it flows through the 14 miles of pipeline between the break and Casselton.

"There's no magic button to push to make it go through," said Gregg Christensen, chief operator for Cass Rural Water.

"We have been flushing some of it, and we're doing that to the best of our ability."

Renae Lammers, owner Cool Beanz, a local coffee shop, said she noticed the discoloration about a week ago but continues to use the water.

"None of the customers have said anything, so I'm just going to ride it out," Lammers said.

Mike Utt, manager of the Cottonwood Golf Course in Casselton, first noticed the discoloration as he filled coolers for drinking water.

"Normally we put coolers out on the golf course, and I haven't been able to do it because it looked like chocolate," Utt said.

The cause of the breaks remains undetermined, but could be caused by a number of factors, Christensen said.

Because the breaks occurred in Cass Rural Water's lines, and not the city's, Casselton is not responsible to pay for the repairs.

Pyle has received about 25 calls from residents concerned about the water since last week.

"There's nothing we can do about it," Pyle said. "It just has to pass. Nobody has been super upset."