"Recently the water's been so brown… you can't even see through the water. It's like drinking a tea that's been steeping for a while. It's really gross," said Marisa DiMeglio.
Several neighbours expressed their concerns at Pointe-Claire's city council meeting Tuesday night.
But before they had a chance to say a word, Pointe-Claire Mayor Morris Trudeau said he had an update on the water situation along Highgate Avenue — the city had tested samples of the water.
"Microbiological tests carried out on these samples have confirmed that the water is drinkable. There were tests done by the City of Montreal and also by the City of Pointe-Claire," he said.
Trudeau went on to say Pointe-Claire will put out a call for tenders in late March to "rehabilitate" the pipes after the spring thaw.
But Highgate Avenue residents, some with their own water samples on hand, took issue with the word "drinkable."
"Is this drinkable?" asked Bekir Gulpekmez, holding a water bottle full of brown water from his home. "So if I pour it (into) your glasses right now, will you drink this water?" he asked Pointe-Claire city council.
Mayor Trudeau answered that if he had brown water at home, he would let the water run until it's clear, then drink it.
Residents ask for lowered water tax
Residents say running the water until the brown colour is gone can take an hour or more. They fear that will run up their water tax bill, which in Pointe-Claire is calculated according to consumption.
"I think that we should definitely have our water tax reduced. I mean we're paying for quality water and we're not getting it," said Highgate Avenue resident Tara Stainforth.
Stainforth is also concerned about possible damage to appliances.
"Dishwasher, washing machines, our hot water tanks… What's going to be the financial impact of rust sitting in all of these appliances?" she asked.
Residents are also wondering if upgrades to the water pipes will actually begin in the spring or whether there will be a delay.
In the meantime, some are choosing to stock up on bottled water.