As residents endure dirty water in Henderson, mayor says it speaks to a larger infrastructure issue

Residents in Henderson are enduring discolored and stinking water as work is underway to provide some relief to the issue.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) said the water is safe for human consumption, and that notices of the water discoloration were given to residents.

Officials say the current water quality issues come from road and sewer construction that is replacing water mains on three city blocks. However, the problem is one that has persisted for years.

Mayor Keith Swenson said road construction and sewer projects in the city have released rust into the city’s water making it “very orange right now.”

He believes the only permanent solution is the construction of an almost $6 million filtration plant that will clean out the various impurities. It’s a plan he has pushed for years without being able to secure the funding.

Arielle Yahnke has lived in Henderson for more than a decade and said that while water quality has been a persistent issue there, it’s been the worst she’s ever seen in the past week. She describes the smell as “terrible” and likens the odor to “dirt, chemicals and sour fruit.”

Her family now hauls in gallons of bottled water for washing and cleaning. She adds that several of her appliances were destroyed by rusty water.

The city is set to flush hydrants on Friday, and officials believe that will help the water quality return to “more normal”, but Mayor Swenson said it is only a temporary solution.

He explains the flushing will “help a bit” but it won’t produce the clean water that residents are hoping for.

“I want clear water more than anyone,” Mayor Swenson said, saying that the filtration system is “the only real solution.”