EVANS, Ga (WJBF)- If you live or work in Columbia County, you may be dealing with brown water. It’s something we’ve been hearing a lot of concern about.

The County said the discolored water is due to a mineral called manganese. It settles in water pipes during the fall and winter when water usage is low.

As it gets warmer outside, more people are watering their yards and gardens, so you’ll start to see this discoloration as the mineral travels through the pipes. Although it doesn’t look like clean water, officials tell us the levels of the mineral are so low that it’s not harmful to drink, cook or bathe with it.

We talked to one water customer, Sandie Whittaker, who said when she sees the brown water, it’s a little worrisome.

“The first thing we’re concerned about is dirt. You know, we don’t want to drink dirt in our water. The second thing is algae. I know several years back we had some issues with algae in our water. It’s a concern for our children, it’s a concern for us and it’s a concern for our pets,” she said.

Whittaker said while she’s glad to hear the water is safe, she’s tired of this happening.

“This is not the first time that this has happened. So, this is a continuous thing over the past several years, so I wish the county would notify us , you know, if the levels are high. Especially in the Springtime. This is what you need to look out for. This is what’s going to happen. This is what you’ll see,” explained Whittaker.

Cassidy Harris, Public Relations Manager in Columbia County, said the county only typically notifies people through CodeRed Mobile Alert app if a scheduled maintenance like flushing hydrants or an emergency repair happens.

“They would only receive the notification if their area is affected. It has not typically been a countywide notification, but specific to the affected areas,” explained Harris.

Harris said the county will be out flushing water pipes to clear them in affected areas over the next few days.

If you live in Columbia County and are having issues with discolored water, call Columbia County Water Utility at (706) 863-6928.

If you do not live in Columbia County and are having the same issue, call your local water department.