Ok, this one is gonna be quick…
Have you noticed a weird (ok, stinky) smell and/or taste with your water lately?
We have too!
In fact, I’ve seen this asked about a couple of times on NextDoor, a popular social media networking app for neighbors. PS: It’s free so you should join if you are not a member.
Anyway, back to the water problem.
Here’s what Arlington’s Water Utilities Department recently shared via a letter to its customers about the issue:
Arlington residents may notice a slight change in the taste or odor of their water this
week. During cold weather, algal activity in Lake Arlington, which is a source of the city’s drinking water, is higher and can cause an unpleasant taste or odor. Arlington water continues to meet all federal and state quality regulations and is safe to drink. Chilling tap water before drinking can reduce unpleasant tastes. The algal activity is a seasonal event and is not permanent.
Arlington Water Utilities has determined that a species of blue-green algae that live in Lake Arlington are the cause of the problem. These algae contain a taste and odor causing compound called Geosmin (pronounced gee oz min). These naturally-occurring algae are constantly present in water reservoirs in North Texas. When water temperatures fluctuate, particularly when the water temperature cools, these algae can die off very quickly and release the taste and odor compound into the water. This in turn makes it into water treatment plant when water is pumped from Lake Arlington.
Geosmin is not a harmful compound. However, it does impart a musty or soil-like taste and odor into the water at very low levels. Geosmin can be detected by some individuals at very low levels. Arlington Water utilizes a very sophisticated water treatment method for taste and odor compound removal utilizing ozone and biological filtration. City personnel have made adjustments to the water treatment process by increasing the ozone dose and slowing the treatment process to facilitate more efficient taste and odor removal.
The taste and odor situation currently being experienced is expected to be of short duration. The water is safe to drink. All of the Arlington’s quality tests indicate the water is meeting and, in most cases, surpassing water quality standards and is safe to use for any purpose.
If a customer has a concern about the quality of their water, they can call the City’s water quality Laboratory at (817) 575-8984 or Arlington Water Utilities Customer Care at 817-275-5931.
Hopefully that helps. And because this randomly popped in my mind, enjoy Phoebe’s (from the tv show FRIENDS) song Smelly Cat!
Happy Monday 🙂