Sumter County

Wildwood leaders hold special meeting to discuss yellow, brown water issues facing residents

WILDWOOD, Fla. — Residents of one Central Florida city said they are tired of dealing with discolored water and that they have been dealing with the problem for weeks.

The city of Wildwood held a special meeting on Monday to talk about the water problem and what city plans to do to fix the issue, permanently.

During Monday’s meeting, the city said the problem was a new water main connecting to a treatment plant that was causing extra pressure in the older pipes downtown, and that was knocking rust into the water that was causing the water to change color.


City officials maintain that the water has been safe to drink the entire time, but residents told Channel 9 that they won’t drink it.

“If they feel like it’s safe, each one of them can get a glass and then swallow, then I’ll say ‘okay, it is safe,” said resident Carolyn Lewis.

Lewis and her neighbors told Channel 9 that the water has been discolored for weeks and it is starting to stain sinks and bathtubs.

Read: Wildwood leaders say temporary fix in place after yellow, brown water appears

“We’ve definitely offered our sincerest apologies for this happening,” said Wildwood Mayor Ed Wolf. “It’s embarrassing. We’re not going to try to dodge it.”

In Monday’s special city council meeting, city leaders voted to give impacted residents 40% off their bill for this past month.

Leaders said the problem started with a new water main from the Oxford Water Treatment Plan which put extra pressure on the system changing the flow and knocking rust into the water from old galvanized pipes in the downtown area.

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“So we’re not going to bring the water from Oxford back down here until we have a better plan in terms of what we can do to rectify this so that this doesn’t particularly happen,” said Wildwood City Manager Jason McHugh.

Over the weekend, the city disconnected that line from downtown and flushed the lines.

City leaders said it seemed to have cleared things up.

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Residents told Channel 9 that t did help and that the water is lighter, but still has a yellow tint to it.

The city said it will eventually have to change all the old pipes downtown for a more permanent solution, but they’re hoping these new efforts will help for now.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.