Discolored water in Henderson has residents concerned for safety, appliances

Several homeowners in Sibley County say they’re seriously considering selling their homes and moving away in response to a long-term issue with water quality in the area.

Residents say it is so bad they can’t do laundry at home, and the water has turned their plants yellow.

Now they’re sounding the alarm on what they call a public health crisis in a small community.

"It tastes absolutely terrible and I’m scared to drink it," Arielle Yahnke said of the water.

"We have forgone a couple of bath nights for our children because we don’t want them to bathe in orange water," Abby Burlet added.

Henderson has had a problem with rusty water for years, but recently locals say things got worse with the start of a new construction project.

"The last week to 10 days it’s horrible," Feuchtinger said. "You kind of pray, do I get to take a shower today?"

"Ordinarily, it’s a nuisance. Right now, it’s obviously intolerable," Mayor Keith Swenson told FOX 9. "This was going to happen from this construction effort because it’s a total shock and it knocks all that rust loose."

As Henderson’s mayor of 26 years explains: construction work displaced rust in pipes, causing a surge in discolored water, "Unfortunately, it carries a heavy load of iron and manganese, and that’s what we’re seeing when we see the rust-colored water."

Unfortunately, a solution to the issue may not come any time soon. Henderson needs help from the state and federal government, asking for $4,640,000 of $5,800,000 needed to build a water treatment plant

But Swenson says they’ve been unable to secure the money because the water has not been deemed unsafe.