"It was Brown"; Dirty Tap Water Raises Concerns in Milwaukee Neighborhood

Dominguinio Juarez was in for quite a surprise Thursday afternoon, filling up a glass of water at his kitchen sink off Windlake Avenue. 

     "I opened the cold water, and it was brown," he says. "After 5-10 minutes, the color was the same."

Juarez says he came back 5 hours later, and the water remained murky. 

     "I feel mad, I feel sad, because something's wrong with the water."

Community activist Robert Miranda believes nearby construction was to blame.

     "Something disturbed that pipe," he says. "You have a portion of the pipe now without any protection, where the lead is going to start leaching into the water."

The Department of Public Works confirms it was doing minor excavation in the area, to repair a leak on a city-owned lead service line. They attribute the dirty water to an iron water main that had to be turned off during the repairs. As a precaution, a spokesperson says neighbors in the area were given "Lead Awareness Brochures", and instructed to flush their pipes.

But Juarez lives in an upper unit, and says he never received that warning. Miranda says more needs to be done to make sure lead didn't leak into the water.

     "The bottom line is, a lead pipe is toxic, and the leaching of lead is dangerous to the human body," he says. "The city needs to go ahead and check the water along the whole block."

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