Arlington Water Utilities and the Fort Worth Water Department are experiencing changes in the taste and odor of their drinking water. For Arlington, the entire city is impacted. For Fort Worth, it is the water coming from the Rolling Hills and Westside water treatment plants. Both water utilities assure their 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. Geosmin is a naturally occurring compound produced by bacteria in soil and algae found in surface water. Cold temperatures kill off algae in surface water, and the dead algae release the geosmin.In an attempt to try to resolve the issue, both utilities have increased the dosage of ozone at their 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.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.