Pumping issue leads to brown faucet water at Memphis hospital

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Methodist University Hospital says a pumping issue turned the faucet water brown, and even though it looked gross, the change didn’t last too long.

For some, that reassurance did little to erase a very vivid picture.

"The pictures show it all and tell all. It’s nasty even if they cleared that up. They need to check the pH level, all that nasty water that came through that faucet," said Daniel Cook.

Cook said he noticed the water as he was trying to give his girlfriend a shower on Tuesday at United Methodist. She’s a cancer survivor who’s been unable to bathe herself the last four months.

"I go to the bathroom and it’s just pouring out this nasty brown water, so I got get the nurse and it’s gurgling, burping, spraying all over us."

He said the brown water left him disgusted and fired him up enough to demand answers from the hospital.

"They are filling jugs with water to give patients. This is nasty. This is unacceptable," added Cook.

WREG reached out to the hospital for an explanation. They responded saying there was an issue with an MLGW pump and workers had to flush out the system.

Cook said even if it appears safe now, he won’t chance it.

"I’ve told the staff there do not give her water -- make sure it’s in a bottle," said Cook.

Methodist University issued the following statement regarding the discolored water:

“Yesterday, one of MLGW’s pumping stations went down, which took several hours for them to correct. Once it was repaired, we had to flush our pipes and that’s when patients saw brown water. We immediately provided bottled water or water from our ice machines which are equipped with special filters to ensure the safety of our drinking water. We are confident that the water coming into the hospital is now safe and clean.”