City of Athens water customers may be noticing an earthy or musty taste and smell in their drinking water. The cause of this odor is compounds associated with algae in lake water. Although the compounds aren’t pathogenic or toxic, they can be detected by the human nose in very small concentrations. These are the same compounds that produce the earthy odor in some foods such as beets, spinach and mushrooms. This odor is a seasonal occurrence and should pass within a few weeks as the algae producing the compounds are no longer present. Extreme rain events can also alter the taste, but the changes in taste and odor don’t affect the safety of the water.
The City of Athens Water Utility is flushing water lines in many locations to remove the smelly water from the system.
If you notice a difference in the taste, odor, or appearance of your water, please call the City’s main telephone number at (903) 675-5131. You’re also welcome to send the Utility Department an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notice from March 26, 2020
City of Athens residents may notice taste and odor (character) differences in the drinking water this week as a result of resuming normal water plant operations.
The City uses both lake and well water sources to produce drinking water. It’s common during off-peak times of year to interrupt the lake water treatment process to maintain and inspect equipment, during which time the need for water is met exclusively from well water sources. The reintroduction of the lake water source following a recent two-
week period of maintenance is causing some residents to notice a character difference in the drinking water.
The City tests water from several locations in the distribution system daily, at the treatment plant multiple times daily, and as needed for specific purposes. These tests ensure treatment processes are functioning properly and the water is safe to consume. All routine testing, including additional distribution system testing, shows all testing parameters are within the ranges typically produced by the treatment processes and well within regulatory guidelines.
Please contact the City of Athens at 903-675-5131 if you have concerns about the quality of your water or if you have questions.