MCNEIL ISLAND, WASH. — Scores of sex offenders ordered to live on a secluded island in Washington state say the often-cloudy, brown water there is making them sick, and records show the water system has been plagued by problems for more than a decade.
About 200 residents of the Special Commitment Center have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the facility is violating their rights by forcing them to drink contaminated water that causes stomach pain and skin rashes and has been blamed for unexplained deaths.
The executive who oversees the center says the water turns brown periodically when the pipes are flushed, and he insists the cloudiness is only an aesthetic effect that causes no harm. But an Associated Press review of state Department of Health records shows that the water has repeatedly exceeded standards for various chlorine-related chemicals and has been cited for violations dating back to 2006. (Source)