Discolored water reported in Cedar Ridge Apartments

Cedar Ridge Apartments located in Willington, CT has had reports of discolored water. (Mustafa Mussa/The Daily Campus)

Residents living in Cedar Ridge Apartments in Willington, including many University of Connecticut students, have seen brown water coming from the faucets of their apartments and have been unable to drink, do laundry, cook or bathe since moving in over a month ago.

One resident, Salma Adil Yousif, posted photos from her apartment in the Facebook group “Buy or Sell UConn Tickets” on Saturday and asked if any other residents had experienced the same thing.

The photos show yellow water in the bathtub, sink and toilet as well as sediment left behind after draining them. The photos were accompanied by the caption “If anyone else in Cedar Ridge is living with this sort of bulls—t, please hit me up. I’m about to start some serious s— with these people. I don’t give a f—.”

The post was soon flooded with comments such as "I lived in Cedar last year and it was the worst,” and “What kind of demented alien died in your toilet?”

The water was immediately a problem when the students moved in in August and was brought to the attention of the management of the apartments. The complex has given the residents jugs of water and subway gift cards in an attempt to compensate them for the inconvenience.

After weeks of coping with the dirty water, the story was covered by NBC Connecticut last week. But the problem has continued despite the press.  

“About five minutes after the cameras left out apartment, a water testing guy knocked on our door in a panic,” said Alexandra Valenta, a UConn senior who lives in Cedar Ridge.

However, the residents have yet to hear back about the results of the test. Valenta said that the water quality did improve slightly, changing from a dark brown to a medium yellow color, but many residents still do not feel that the water is safe to drink and use.   

Cedar Ridge management was unavailable for an interview, but they sent an email out to residents last Wednesday stating that “the maintenance staff has been working diligently to correct the water discoloration that has occurred. At this time the water is safe to drink.”

The email goes on to explain that the discoloration is likely caused by sediment being stirred up as a result of the water being turned off and back on during the first few weeks after students began to move in.

Robert Miller, Director of the Eastern Highlands Health District, advised residents to not drink the suspect water if they do not feel that it is safe in an interview with NBC Connecticut.

The Lutz Management Company, which runs the complex, states that they are unsure of what is causing the discoloration, but officials from the Department of Public Health suspect that it is a concentration of manganese and iron in the water, NBC Connecticut reported.

Management has been assuring residents that they are actively working on the problem, a sentiment that have been reiterating since the problem was brought to their attention over a month ago, said Valenta.

Even though it was only recently that the water quality at Cedar Ridge prompted public outcry following Yousif’s post, it is not a new problem to plague Cedar Ridge Apartments.

Josh Sherman, another UConn senior describes his experience living in the complex the past two years, which included living without heat for a period of time and encountering similar problems with the water in his apartment.

Sherman says, “I think anyone who has lived there would say they’ve had multiple problems.”


Anna Aldrich is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu.