Summer algae blooms are stinking up tap water in Southern California, causing it to taste and smell musty, according to local reports.
Officials with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) advised residents in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties that though they might be alarmed by the odor and taste, it is an "aesthetic problem and not a health issue."
Consumers "can be assured that the taste-and-odor issues they may be experiencing in their tap water do not pose any health risks," Jim Green, the district's manager of water system operations, said in a statement.
Water from Silverwood Lake in Hesperia, where these algae blooms occur, is delivered to Southern California customers. From there, it's blended with supplies from local agencies, so the taste and smell may not be as strong and pungent in some areas compared to others.
Algae growth is a seasonal problem, typically occurring in the summer months, according to the MWD. As in previous years, the culprit of this most recent episode has been identified as geosmin, a compound that is produced from the growth of freshwater algae.
"Unfortunately, people with sensitive taste and smell can detect the compound in water at levels as low as 5 parts-per-trillion," Green said. "By comparison, one part-per-trillion is equivalent to just 10 drops of geosmin in enough water to fill the Rose Bowl."
The Department of Water resources is planning to spot treat the reservoir this Thursday and Friday with a form of hydrogen peroxide which will neutralize the overgrowth, MyFox Los Angeles reported.
MWD officials stressed in their statement that the treated water is safe for consumption and it will not harm fish and wildlife.
MWD officials expect the local water's taste and odor should improve by the end of the week following further treatment of supplies and isolation of affected facilities. In the meantime, customers are advised to refrigerate their water to improve the taste.
© 2021 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.