The Gubner family at 8433 Carrollton Parkway in New Carrollton no longer drinks the water that comes from their faucets. At certain times of the day their neighbor, Virginia Boisvert, is busy filling bottles and buckets of water for storage. And the Stacom family, who also live on Carrollton Parkway, is a bit reluctant now to take baths.
For the past nine weeks these families and about seven of their neighbors in the 8400 block of Carrollton Parkway have been bedeviled by dirty tap water pouring from their faucets.
The dirty water, whose color residents say ranges from rust to orange-red and sometimes has mud and bits of black gravel in it, has ruined clothes, stained showers and bathtubs and brought about changes in residents' lifestyles.
As Anne Gubner put it, "Who wants to cook rice in dirty red water?" Mrs. Gubner, whose family has lived on the street for 18 years, said she waits all day for those moments when the water is clear. Then she as quickly as possible does the laundry and fills containers with clear water for cooking and drinking.
According to a spokesman for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, the agency responsible for water and sewer pipes in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, their attempt to root out a buildup of clay in the street's water pipes is responsible for the dirty water.
Arthur P. Brigham, the WSSC spokesman, said the problem is limited to the 8400 block of Carrollton Parkway and is not at all connected with recent report of dirty tap water in various parts of Montgomery County.
Brigham and residents said WSSC crews have continually and thus far unsuccessfully tried to clear the water of the particles. Residents said that after these attempts the water runs clear for a few hours, then becomes dirty again.
Brigham said the agency now is planning to sue a boring tool, in much the same principle as a pipe cleaner is used, to completely clean the street's water pipes.