Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Odd taste in city water explained

December 12, 2006


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 today are assuring everyone that city tap water is still safe to drink.

Chris Stewart, the city's interim director of utilities, said that 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 only 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.

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

For more on the story, tune into 6News tonight at 6 and see Wednesday's Journal-World.


not_dolph 11 years, 4 months ago

Oh, I thought it was from Topeka "output."

Ken Miller 11 years, 4 months ago

I thought that earthy smell was coming from the Merc.

cellogrl 11 years, 4 months ago

I had been wondering about that for a while and I was beginning to think I was nuts because no one else noticed it!!! I'm so glad they wrote that!

Centrist 11 years, 4 months ago

Doesn't our water go through a filtration process first???

Yikes ... and I thought it was the year 2006. Guess I was wrong. It's 1950 ...

nbnozzy 11 years, 4 months ago

Since I've moved to the west side of town from just off of 23rd, I've noticed a big difference in the taste and smell of the water. Don't know if its because I am getting it from a different source (Clinton or Kaw) or if its the pipes. Any standing water left in my shower turns rust color and is kinda slimey if not wiped up within a few hours. I bought a water filter for drinking and cooking purposes. Wish I knew why the water is of lesser quality than what I used to have.

saudipoo 11 years, 4 months ago

Ok, I am sensitive to the taste and can tell a difference. Am I one of the few? I think not!

Bruce Bertsch 11 years, 4 months ago

Well, we are downstream from Manhattan. :)

Godot 11 years, 4 months ago

nbnozzy, if you own, you need to call a plumber; if you rent, you need to move.

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

I believ we saw an article telling us about this earlier this week

sublime 11 years, 4 months ago

My wife noticed it first.I drink milk and tea mainly so I did'nt notice it right off.It is nasty.It makes Eudora water taste good.

JayCat_67 11 years, 4 months ago

Yep, and the Manhattanites giggle just a little every time they flush :)

Nikki May 11 years, 4 months ago

I noticed it ages ago and emailed about it last night. It bothered me most when I got a soda at Sonic and as the ice melted, I started tasting dirt in there too. I have been exclusively going to quiktrip now because they use filtered water for their ice and sodas. I hope we get put back on the kaw plant SOON. I guess I'm glad I'm not always on the Clinton plant.

chucknoblet 11 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.

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

There are fish that live in Clinton Lake.

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

75x77, By no means would I suggest that, in fact I believe there are several signs posted around the lake that advise against such a thing.

You do bring out a good point.

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