Taste & Odor
We do all we can to make sure your water is not only meets all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, but tastes good, too. We even have a panel of taste-testers. Occasionally, chlorine and algae blooms can affect the taste and odor of drinking water. However, your water meets all standards - there are no associated health risks when this happens.
Occasionally, some of our customers can detect a taste similar to chlorine or disinfectant. To ensure that we meet federal water quality standards under the National Safe Drinking Water Act, we use chloramine to disinfect the water supply. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires every water system that treats drinking water to maintain certain residual levels of chlorine throughout their water distribution system at all times. To meet this EPA requirement, we periodically create a temporary, stronger presence of chlorine in the water by using free chlorine instead of chloramines. Although this procedure may briefly alter taste and odor, your water meets all standards - there are no associated health risks.
In some areas the taste of chlorine can be more noticeable. This is most often due to how close you live to the water treatment plants. The closer you are, the more likely you are able to detect chlorine.
In the spring and fall, some customers may experience an earthy taste and odor in their water. This is not harmful to your health; the water continually meets all regulatory standards. The change in taste and odor is caused by a naturally occurring algae bloom in the Savannah River or the raw water reservoir that brings water to the Chelsea and/or Purrysburg Water Treatment Plant. River water can acquire a distinctive flavor from algae, which forms during temperature shifts in the spring and fall. We have taken steps to lessen the algae bloom's affects by treating the water with powdered activated carbon (PAC) to absorb the taste and odor, increasing the supply of water from the Chelsea Water Treatment Plant and flushing water lines.