Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Drink stink

City Hall explains water problems

December 12, 2006

Advertisement

Reader poll
Does your water taste or smell funny right now?

or See the results without voting

This is not what Christine Munck needs right now.

Her head hurts, she's sick to her stomach and all she really wants to do is take a nice, hot shower.

"But even that doesn't feel very good because it feels like and smells like I'm bathing in river water," said Munck, who lives in East Lawrence.

There's a reason for that. City utility leaders confirmed Tuesday that Lawrence residents may be noticing an odd taste and smell from their tap water due to an unusual algae occurrence in Clinton Lake.

But city and scientific leaders are assuring everyone that city tap water is safe to drink.

Chris Stewart, the city's interim director of utilities, said Lawrence's Clinton Water Treatment Plant is experiencing abnormally high levels of geosmin, a secretion that is released by lake algae when they die.

The geosmin gives water an earthy or soil-like smell and taste. Stewart said the geosmin levels currently are high enough that it is expected people who are relatively sensitive to taste or smell will notice the difference in the water. City crews are adding extra carbon to the city's drinking water to try to combat the geosmin (pronounced gee-osmond).

Christine Munck, who lives in East Lawrence, noticed earlier this week that her tap water had an unusual smell and taste. Abnormally high levels of geosmin, a secretion that is released by lake algae when they die, is causing the odd taste and smell, said Chris Stewart, the city's interim director of utilities, on Tuesday.

Christine Munck, who lives in East Lawrence, noticed earlier this week that her tap water had an unusual smell and taste. Abnormally high levels of geosmin, a secretion that is released by lake algae when they die, is causing the odd taste and smell, said Chris Stewart, the city's interim director of utilities, on Tuesday.

Both Stewart and Paul Liechti, assistant director of the Kansas Biological Survey, which is studying geosmin, said there is no evidence that it creates any health dangers.

"It is not a human health hazard at all," Liechti said. "But for those people who are already feeling under the weather, it is kind of an odor that makes your stomach turn."

The city had a major geosmin issue in December 1995, when geosmin levels hit about 60 parts per trillion. People with sensitive taste buds can begin tasting it at about 5 parts per trillion. After treating the geosmin, the city still had geosmin levels that were above 10 parts per trillion.

City leaders ultimately decided to shut down the Clinton Treatment Plant, which is off Wakarusa Drive, for 10 weeks until the geosmin in Clinton Lake naturally dissipated. During that period, all of the city's water was treated at the Kaw Water Treatment plant, which takes water from the Kansas River.

Stewart said it was too early to tell whether the city may have to temporarily shut down the Clinton plant again. He said the city is expecting test results today to show just how much geosmin is in the water.

Normally, only the areas west of Iowa Street receive water from the Clinton Water Treatment Plant. But during the last five days, all the city's water was coming from the Clinton plant because the Kaw plant was shut down for routine maintenance. The Kaw plant was put back into service Monday.

Comments

outdoor55 8 years, 4 months ago

Finally!!! I was beginning to think I was crazy.

chucknoblet 8 years, 4 months ago

I've noticed the funny taste for the past several days. Then, all of a sudden, today around mid-day it looked like the water coming out of my kitchen faucet was sort of rusty, and then I noticed when I flushed the toilet, all the water that filled the toilet was sort of orange like in the kitchen. But now it seems back to normal: clear, but still funny-tasting (that's the kitchen sink; I've never tasted the water in the toilet...). Is the rusty color related to what they're talking about in this article, or is it a separate issue? Before any of these articles came out on ljworld this afternoon, I re-installed my water filter, even though it's not a great fit. I was so worried about drinking the water that I don't mind the water spraying sideways out of my ill-fitting filter.

wysiwyg69 8 years, 4 months ago

knowuh,,,,,,,, drinking your pee after adding a certain tablet does not matter either but I do not think I will do it, but you can go ahead and chug some

geppetto 8 years, 4 months ago

It is not that bad. Topeka's water taste even worse ALL THE TIME!!!

prioress 8 years, 4 months ago

Get used to it; Clinton is doomed in the next few years as a water source.

Aimee Polson 8 years, 4 months ago

Prioress - Why do you say that Clinton is doomed as a water source? -- Thanks, Dodger

quigley 8 years, 4 months ago

I had lived in lawrence all of my life before I moved to KC a year ago. The water in lawrence has had a funny taste/smell for as long as I can remember. I can only imagine what its like now if people are starting to really speak out.

bullistic 8 years, 4 months ago

Don't drink the water. There is blood in the water.

doc1 8 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic is right. Big corporations are selling us out. The government is selling us out worse because they know of all the agricultural runoff, the extreme use of pesticides, factory farming, dredging, and dumping by companies into the river but they lay down laxed laws and don't really enforce it.

cork_dork 8 years, 4 months ago

Did they ever say what the parts per actually is right now?

ryanjasondesch 8 years, 4 months ago

75x75: General Jack D. Ripper, you have made my day sir! Everybody got their survival kits?

"Survival Kit contents check. In them you will find: one 45 caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Rooshan phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings -- shoot, a fellah could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.... "

How lets get after' them Rooskies!

budwhysir 8 years, 4 months ago

Last month I recall seeing an article on electric cars that review the same problems associated with using black tape on electricle connections

fascinating_person 8 years, 4 months ago

Topeka water isn't bad at all. You can drink it straight from the tap - can't do that in Lawrence because the tap water tastes so disgustingly nasty. I remember even the water fountains in the dorms here were unbearable. I use a water filter pitcher (or just hydrate on beer)

belle 8 years, 4 months ago

cork dork: Yes, it said they expect the test results today.

prioress 8 years, 4 months ago

Prioress - Why do you say that Clinton is doomed as a water source? -- Thanks, Dodger

  1. Agricultural pollution
  2. Silting up way faster than predicted
  3. Adding new water meters out west. (Not a problem exclusive to Larryville; once we get done having wars for oil, the next round will be for "fresh" water.

guesswho 8 years, 4 months ago

Also, there is becoming a tremendous amount of pharmaceuticals in the water - people should not flush pills/drugs down the toilet!!!

The silting is a huge problem for all of these reservoirs in KS and elsewhere.(http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/sep/03/sediment_growing_problem_clinton/?out_of_tap)

Lack of fresh water is a world-wide problem. We will see more wars and deaths due to lack of water for drinking, irrigation, washing etc.

Emily Hadley 8 years, 4 months ago

Conclusion: Water is great and it's free and we need it to live. People are disgusting and poisonous and find ways to ruin even the most precious thing on earth, even when it falls out of the darn sky.

One more reason why we just aren't number 1...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcz_NHAFGS0

budwhysir 8 years, 4 months ago

There is a stink in my drink I think I think

I will complain without any gain oh the pain the pain

I have a dollar I dont have to hollar not stuck in a collar a collar

And so it goes

Commenting has been disabled for this item.