Toms River Water Green: Is It Safe for Residents?

Residents in New Jersey are concerned that their water may be unsanitary after noticing it was not the normal, clear color. Instead, they were shocked to see that the water had taken on a green hue and wonder if the water is safe for them to continue using.

"The water is green coming out of the tap," Ed Lefebvre told CBS News. He first noticed the strange color two weeks ago and tried to fix it on his own by using chemicals. Nothing helped, he said.

He then turned to the water company, calling them time after time until he got the response he wanted, which was an agreement that they would test the water. A spokesman for the New Jersey American Water Company, which serves those in the Toms River area, has said that the tests show elevated levels of iron in the water.

"You would have to drink six gallons of water to equal what's in one multivitamin," Richard Barnes told NBC. The water's high iron content is not unsafe for consumption, he emphasized. Yet many, like Lefebvre, remain unconvinced.

"I'm not convinced what they're saying is the gospel truth," he told CBS. "It's frightening to see this color water."

The water "meets the standards established by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the USEPA," a spokesperson from New Jersey American Water told CBS.

Others have speculated that the water color is due to oxidized copper or algae, and at least one person knows what the residents off Toms River are going through.

"I had green water in Maine from my new well," CBS user Frederick posted. "It was from ferrous iron in the water and at first, in small quantities could not be seen, however in larger quantities the green color was apparent."

"A water conditioner with 'greensand' will remove the iron," Frederick suggested. "Discolored clothes and bathtubs can be cleaned with a little oxalic acid in the rinse water. Better the water supplier fix their treatment though, it's not your responsibility to clean up your mess at your expense."