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Water Discoloration Update-

The City of Bessemer City continues to treat water for discoloration which started at the beginning of November 2023. The discoloration is due to sporadic temperature changes during November, which changes iron and manganese levels. Additionally, as drought conditions continue, Arrowood Lake (the City’s main water reservoir) levels remain several feet below average, meaning water feeds to the plant from a lower depth. Lastly, as we move from fall into winter, lake turnover will occur which can impact water discoloration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to Water

1. Does Bessemer City process its own water or purchase water from other communities?
Bessemer City primarily processes water at the J.V. Tarpley Water Treatment Plant. Bessemer City also has emergency connections with the City of Kings Mountain and the City of Gastonia. During the City’s Water Plant Improvement Project, which is currently taking place and is near completion, the City has purchased water when necessary while improvements and upgrades are being made. Water can also be purchased during severe drought conditions or emergency situations. Currently, Bessemer City is processing its own water.

2. What Is Bessemer City doing to counteract discolored water?
The City is treating water at the plant for discoloration. The City is also flushing lines to mitigate the presence of discoloration. Water is tested daily. 

3. Is discolored water in the system dirty or unsafe?
No. Water in the system is treated at the plant and does not contain dirt or any harmful material. The water is stained by changing mineral levels due to the above mentioned (needed space between words) reasons, which ultimately affects the clarity of the water (turbidity). Water processed at the plant is safe for consumption and use. Water is tested daily in accordance to all North Carolina and Federal laws.

4. Is Bessemer City the only community dealing with this situation?
No. Other communities across the region are dealing with similar circumstances due to weather conditions (temperature changes and drought).

5. Where can I find out more information related to discolored water?
For more information, please call the Bessemer City Water Plant at (704) 629-5684 to speak with Dennis Wells, ORC. Customers and residents are highly discouraged from obtaining information from online social media pages not affiliated with the City of Bessemer City. Many statements and comments on these non-affiliated pages are not factual and serve as platforms to spread false information. Reliable and factual information regarding your water can be obtained at

6. Does discolored water have anything to do with violation notices received this year?
No. Notice of Violations (NOVs) include specific details for the violation, many of which are related to the Water Plant Renovation Project taking place. During the renovation, there have been times when the plant was not operating, which impacts testing result averages required by the State of North Carolina.

As of November 28, 2023, water clarity continues to improve at the water plant and the presence of discoloration is lessening.

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