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Apartment complex residents express concerns about contaminated water

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Residents of a Fort Oglethorpe apartment complex are concerned after receiving letters saying their water may have been contaminated.

The city says test results show the water system barely exceeded the standard contaminant level late last year.

Even though it never reached harmful levels, residents of Battlewood Apartments tell us they're still concerned for their health.

"It's like a chemical smell," resident Joshua Smith says about the water that runs from the faucet inside his apartment.

Smith found a notice from the City of Fort Oglethorpe posted on his front door on Tuesday. It says the community water system "recently violated a drinking water standard."

"I was kind of worried about it because it said chemicals in the water, and my little girl drinks the water almost every day," Smith says.

According to the letter, the water was contaminated during the final quarter of 2015, with elevated levels of trihalomethanes, chemicals used during water treatment.

"The letter was (dated) March 24th, and here it is in April, and we're just now finding out about it," Smith says. "I mean, that's what kind of made me upset about it. Why are they waiting so long to tell us?"

"I've noticed it before, the funny smell and the taste," says Dustin Blevins.

According to the letter, people who drink contaminated water over long periods of time have an increased risk of getting cancer. The city told residents not to be alarmed, because levels were not high enough to pose a threat to water quality.

"I really don't know what to think at this point," Blevins says. "If one of my kids was to get cancer, that would just break my heart."

City Manager Ron Goulart said he's unsure what caused the problem last year, but water test results from last month were back to normal.

However, residents like Smith said he won't take any chances.

"I'm probably going to boil the water from now on," he says.

City leaders say they currently test water samples on a quarterly basis, but will look into running tests each month to help prevent any problems in the future.

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