Archive for Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lab tests confirm that cause of unpleasant odor and taste of Lawrence’s drinking water is elevated level of algae byproduct

June 12, 2012


Laboratory tests have confirmed that a byproduct of dead algae is producing the odd tastes and odors in the city’s water supply.

Jeanette Klamm, a spokeswoman for the city’s Utilities Department, said test results found elevated geosmin levels in the raw water coming out of Clinton Lake.

Geosmin, a compound produced when algae die, can cause an earthy and musty taste and odor to drinking water. But city officials said the geosmin poses no health risks to people or pets who consume the water.

Klamm said the geosmin levels currently are holding steady. The city hopes the taste and odor issues soon will become less noticeable, but said it was difficult to predict future levels because they fluctuate with the weather.

Klamm said the city is working to remove the taste and odor by adding more carbon to the city’s water treatment process.

“But it is one of those things where at a certain point, the carbon just doesn’t do it anymore,” Klamm said.

Klamm, however, said the city doesn’t have alternative treatment options, such as an ozone process, because of cost constraints.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 7 months ago

All you greenies should be very happy. Just think how lucky you are to augment your subsistance with this green organic matter. Yet I have heard many of you whine about your water.

Cant have it both ways!

matthew2600 5 years, 7 months ago

Are you trying to be funny? "Greenies" are pet treats and environmentalists have every right to be concerned about safe drinking water including in this case. I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't care what is in their water.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 7 months ago

"greenie" is also a common pejorative term for environmentalists. And now you know.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 7 months ago

This is an incredibly stupid comment. It does not reflect what people think - they care about their water.

And you shouldn't link politics to the water situation!

imastinker 5 years, 7 months ago

If greenies had their way we never would have put the dam in and would have no drinking water right now. So I'm sure they are no happier about this than anyone else.

I wonder if it's time to dredge the lake though. I assume that sediment rich with phosphates are contributing to this. Some rain wouldn't hurt either!

Patricia Davis 5 years, 7 months ago

I say to hell with the proposed western play palace and let's spend the money on better ways to keep drinking water safe.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 7 months ago

"But city officials said the geosmin poses no health risks to people or pets who consume the water."

Jeremiah Jefferson 5 years, 7 months ago

What did I tell ya, it was Microbes all along

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 7 months ago

Not microbes. It's geosmin, a chemical compound released from the decay of algae. "Geosmin, which literally translates to 'earth smell', is an organic compound with a distinct earthy flavor and aroma, and is responsible for the earthy taste of beets or wine and a contributor to the strong scent (petrichor) that occurs in the air when rain falls after a dry spell of weather or when soil is disturbed."

dogsandcats 5 years, 7 months ago

It might not be harmful but it's frigging disgusting. If the city won't improve the quality of our water, they should at least reimburse me for my Brita filters.

Ken Harris 5 years, 7 months ago

Our Brita filter doesn't filter the taste out. This is a recurring problem and the city should invest in the ozone system.

Adrienne Sanders 5 years, 7 months ago

I don't know why they're acting surprised that this happened. It happens EVERY year. And next week the water will taste like bleach from what they put in to kill the algae taste.

I use a Brita pitcher year round, it works for me 95% of the time. (Sometimes the bleach taste is so strong it can't handle it.)

Hooligan_016 5 years, 7 months ago

The City is only "surprised" that it is occurring this early in the summer. I'm more surprised at the number of posters who are shocked and appalled about the water (when this happens every year essentially).

Getaroom 5 years, 7 months ago

+1 to the recurring algae bloom. Chalk it up to warmer air and low rain fall.

Laura Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm surprised because I've been living in the same house since 1971 and this has happened ONCE before--when they were building Clinton Lake. Maybe my neighborhood has just lucked out.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps it is contaminated by bear scat.....and cougar.....and panther.....

gatekeeper 5 years, 7 months ago

So glad I live in N. Lawrence. No funky smell or taste in the water here. Can't believe I'm saying I'm happy to get my water from the Kaw, but at least it doesn't have the algae issues the lake does.

JackMcKee 5 years, 7 months ago

Is this the blue green algae? That stuff was all over Perry last Summer. Glad I sold my boat a few years ago.

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

Pretty much every spring in east Lawrence my water started to smell fishy. That's how I could tell it was spring.

Avoided ever drinking the stuff out of the faucet as much as possible.

Rich Noever 5 years, 7 months ago

Gee no one blamed it on Brownback. Are you guys losing your touch?

christiangirl93 5 years, 7 months ago

I think the water taste good. But I wish they would not put flouride in it. That is a dangerous chemical that the government puts in water to make people dumb.

kef104 5 years, 7 months ago

You can tell all the smart people in the smart states, they are missing their teeth. Did you hear about the other government plot? It has to do with paved roads. They only pave them so people will go too fast and kill themselves in an accident. Oh, we faked the moon landing too. And 9-11, the government timed bombs to go off just after the planes hit them. Yep, somehow our government figured out stupid and dead folks keep things rolling. Okay, maybe stupid folks dol keep the current status of government rolling along, but it might be wise to ask yourself, "who are the stupid people who keep voting for our current government?"

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