Water samples are poured during a 2015 meeting of the Maine Rural Water Association. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

A delay in securing stainless steel parts for equipment upgrades means that some Bangor-area residents’ tap water may continue to appear discolored for the rest of the month.

The Bangor Water District’s ozone system, which removes color from water during processing, has been offline since November to undergo an upgrade.

It was expected to go back online in February, but difficulty in sourcing stainless steel parts means that the system will instead return at the end of March, said Kathy Moriarty, the water district’s general manager.

The new equipment has been installed and the manufacturer is onsite inspecting it while staff receive training on the new $5.2 million system, Moriarty said.

The discolored water remains safe to drink and passes all quality control tests, according to a notice on the water district’s website.

The water district serves around 11,000 customers in Bangor, Clifton, Eddington, Hampden, Hermon, Orrington and Veazie.

Stainless steel is one product that’s been caught up in global supply chain woes. Last summer, a Kentucky plant responsible for much of the U.S.’s stainless steel supply slowed production as it encountered trouble securing the gases it needed for production.

More recently, global prices of nickel — a stainless steel component — have risen during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia is responsible for about 10 percent of the globe’s nickel supply, the Guardian reported.

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.