Friday, June 18, 2021

Source water change creates taste & odor issues; Water safe to drink

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Fort Worth Water Department is experiencing changes in the taste and odor of the drinking water coming from the Rolling Hills and Westside water treatment plants. 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.

Last week, Tarrant Regional Water District switched the water supply for the treatment plants to Lake Benbrook because of maintenance on the pipeline from Richland-Chambers Reservoir.   TRWD also had to shut down the line from Cedar Creek Lake last Friday because of a break on that line. In addition, water quality data from TRWD indicates the levels of geosmin have been steadily rising in recent months. This is a normal occurrence for this time of year. Cold temperatures kill off algae in surface water, and the dead algae release the geosmin.

In an attempt to try and resolve the issue, the department has increased the dosage of ozone at both treatment plants. Ozone is used to disinfect the drinking water, and it can help with resolving taste and odor issues, but not in all cases.
Geosmin is a naturally occurring compound 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. 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