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DPW believes they've found what caused Essex water to smell like gas

Hydrant chlorine flushing
Posted at 5:27 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 14:03:04-04

ESSEX, Md. — The Department of Public Works believe they've found what caused a gasoline like odor coming from residents water in Essex.

Apparently two large water valves were discovered to be closed at Virginia and Eastern Boulevard.

The clogged water had become stagnant and mixed in with regular flowing water, causing the smell.

So to help get things back to normal, crews are flushing area fire hydrants with chlorine through next week.

Officials say residents can expect low water pressure until they're finished.

The good news is tests for petroleum and hydrocarbons came back negative.

RELATED: More than a dozen people in Essex report their water smells like 'gasoline'

Results for bacteria are expected sometime Friday evening.

DPW tells WMAR-2 News that current chlorine levels are safe for drinking, but discretion should be used if the odor still exists.

Since Tuesday, at least 15 people reported an odor in their water, according to Baltimore City's 311 log.

At least two reported falling ill or vomiting after drinking the water. One person said their son got sick after mixing it with juice.