LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Supplying water from Moulton City Lake has the upside of avoiding any contaminants from the Tennessee River, but the downside has consistently been poor-tasting drinking water.
“A lot of the customers when they come in and order water, they completely hate the taste of it,” Bobby Rai’s Sports Grill employee Raigen Harville said.
Numerous Moulton City Council members told News 19 that longtime water treatment Superintendent Jerry Johnson has efforted studies from Auburn University and state agencies to improve the problem, after a history of detection of algae and geosmin, the latter of which causes a smelly odor.
However, Johnson may soon be out of a job due to allegations of harassment announced by Mayor Roger Weatherwax. Officials who spoke off-camera said those claims are unfair, and they stand against the mayor’s plans to fire Johnson in the coming days.
In February the city filed this application listing with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for almost $21 million in water system improvement grants. ADEM said the city should expect a response before this summer.
For local businesses, the water struggle continues. “I have to go get bottles of water, or sometimes they’ll ask for no ice because they think it’s more to do with the ice. But our water system, it tastes completely terrible. And the prices of water bottles add up for us,” Harville said.
Mayor Weatherwax’s office and the city attorney meanwhile both failed to return calls and emails from News 19.
Unnamed city officials said that legal representatives from both the city and Johnson were scheduled to meet Wednesday.