Discolored water is flowing from the taps of a few dozen rural residents in northeast Iowa. D-N-R research geologist Paul Van Dorpe says the people are seeing water ranging from greenish-grey to nearly black.As odd as it sounds, Van Dorpe says Sunday’s powerful earthquake in Alaska is likely to blame for the strange-colored water.Something similar happened after an Alaskan earthquake in 1964. Reports of discolored water have come from areas around Riceville to south near the Waterloo and Waverly areas and east to near Guttenburg. Van Dorpe says residents who encounter strange-colored water should -not- drink it, but perform a quick task.After flushing the well, he says residents with concerns should get a water sample tested to make sure there is no bacteria in it. Van Dorpe says the discoloration is likely coming from manganese, a naturally occurring element in the soil that could have been shaken into underground aquifers by the earthquake.
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