The high geosmin levels in the raw water blend, which were responsible for the earthy taste and odor, have come down substantially since late-January where they peaked at 864 nanograms per liter (ng/L). As of February 10, the raw water blend was 104 ng/L with the level of geosmin in the finished water delivered to customer taps down to 10 ng/L.
As the taste and odor of the water continues to improve, the Fort Worth Water Department offers continued assurance the water has always been safe for drinking, cooking, bathing and all other purposes.
The taste and odor issues in Fort Worth’s water supply persist, and the Fort Worth Water Department is doing all it can to try and alleviate the issue. The department has increased the dosing of ozone and has begun blending the water from Lake Benbrook with water from Cedar Creek Lake. Ozone is used to disinfect the drinking water, and it can help with resolving taste and odor issues, but not in all cases.
The naturally-occurring organic compound responsible for the earthy taste and odor is geosmin. Geosmin is produced by bacteria in soil and algae found in surface water. Cold temperatures kill off the algae in surface water, and the dead algae release the geosmin.
This week’s test results unfortunately indicate the geosmin count in Lake Benbrook has almost doubled from two weeks ago. It is now greater than 1,000 nanograms per liter (or parts per trillion). Tarrant Regional Water District indicates this is the highest levels seen in several years.
The Water Department assures customers the water is safe for drinking, cooking, bathing and all other purposes, even though it has an earthy smell and taste.
The issue became noticeable the week of January 6, 2014 when TRWD switched the water supply for the Rolling Hills and Westside water treatment plants to Lake Benbrook because of construction and maintenance on the pipeline from Richland-Chambers Reservoir. That pipeline is scheduled to be out of service through most of February.
Customers may improve the taste of their drinking water by:
· refrigerating the water in an open container; or
· adding a slice of lemon or lime.
The wholesale customers that regularly purchase water include Bethesda Water Supply Corp., Burleson, Crowley, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dalworthington Gardens, Edgecliff Village, Everman, Forest Hill, Grand Prairie, Haltom City, Haslet, Hurst, Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Northlake, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills, Roanoke, Saginaw, Southlake, Trophy Club Municipal Utility District, Westlake, Westover Hills, Westworth Village and White Settlement.