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Fire hydrant crash leaves some in Redding with brown water

By Mark Mester, mmester@krcrtv.com
Published On: Apr 01 2014 11:33:13 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

Folks all over Redding are dealing with brown tap water after a car slammed into a fire hydrant, Monday night.

The crash happened when a driver lost control of his vehicle about 6:30 p.m. at Argyle Road and Hartnell Avenue.

KRCR News Channel 7 captured video of brown water gushing from the hydrant moments after the crash.

Officials with the City of Redding said more than 30,000 gallons of water were lost.

Guests at the Red Lion Hotel on Hilltop Drive reported having brown water Tuesday morning, as did folks living in East Redding.

Redding's Water Utility Manager, John Wendele told KRCR News Channel 7 the water is brown because it's well water, which is high in minerals.

"The City is pumping more well water and using less service water because of the drought," said Wendele.

The manager also said the fire hydrant's shear bolts are designed to break off when they're hit, but the bolts failed and the pipeline burst instead.

The Utility received about 70 phone calls from customers on Tuesday.

Customers are advised not to drink the water, even if it's boiled.

The Utility is also offering a stain remover called Red-B-Gone, which can remove stains in clothing that may have been washed with the brown water. The remover is free and can be delivered to anyone's home by calling the Redding Water Utility Department. The number is (530) 224-6031.

Customers can also pick up the remover at 20055 Viking Way.

The water should be back to normal by Wednesday.