Archive for Friday, February 21, 1992

TESTS SHOW BAD-TASTING WATER SAFE

February 21, 1992

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Tests on local water samples prompted by dozens of recent complaints of bad-tasting drinking water show that the water is safe, a city official said.

"This is not a problem that is a public health concern," said Roger Coffey, director of the city's utility's department.

The city received 30 to 40 complaints from residents about two weeks ago about foul-smelling and bad-tasting water, Coffey said.

The calls came from various locations around the city, he said.

The bad-tasting water, which he said is no longer in the city's system, resulted from an increase in algae or other organic material.

"You have these little creatures in the water, and sometimes they're just awfully difficult to treat," Coffey said.

He said the city has received no further complaints about bad-tasting water.

Coffey said that each year, the city's utilities department has a bout with algae and other organic material, which increases at various times in the city's two main water sources, Clinton Lake and the Kansas River.

Stan Loeb, assistant professor of biological sciences at Kansas University, said the material or secretions that algae produces do not pose a health hazard to humans, but can cause water to smell or taste foul.

Loeb said algae and other material grow more rapidly at different times in both the Kansas River and Clinton Lake.

"It could be a particular algae that grows at a particular time," Loeb said of the occasional increased concentrations.

The water for all sections of the city is distributed through two water treatment plants: one that draws water from the river and one that uses water from the lake.

Coffey said it takes about two weeks for water in the city to be completely replaced.

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