By Ren Clayton

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Reddish-brown water has been plaguing residents of Henderson for years.

There’s too much iron in the water of this Sibley County town, located southwest of the Twin Cities. Resident Casey Herrman says she avoids buying white clothing.

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“The shower, the bathtub will get like orange staining in it that, you know, takes a lot of scrubbing to get out,” Herrman said.

Henderson Mayor Keith Swenson says the city council is aiming to fix the issue, once and for all.

“I was born here. If they were flushing hydrants in Henderson you didn’t do the laundry because it’d turn pink,” Swenson said.

To be clear, there’s no safety issue with the drinking water in Henderson. The problem is that all the iron in the water can stain clothes and dishes.

(credit: CBS)

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“It’s a problem that needs to be addressed,” Swenson said.

A proposal was put forward last week for an estimated $5.5 million water treatment project. That’s one solution.

“While some people emphatically want us to go forward with the project, there may be others that emphatically don’t want to spend $50 more a month on their water bill,” Swenson said.

Another, cheaper option: in-home filtration. A town of about 900, Henderson has significant debt. Grants and loans are potential options to fund this project.

“It’s basically studying it so we know exactly what we’re doing this time and choosing the right course. And it can get really expensive,” Swenson said.

The city council will hold more meetings on the topic before opening it up to a public forum.

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The water in Henderson comes from the Jordan aquifer. The city hopes to decide on a plan in the coming months.

Ren Clayton