Source Water Changes Producing Different Odor and Taste

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.


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Angie small

It still tastes really bad. I live in Arlington and it reminds me of 1995.

Paul Durand

Ive also noticed my washing machine smells horrible after doing a load. The machine is a year old. Could the change in water be causing this smell. Thanks

Marty T

My water also has light brown particles floating in it and leaves this residue in the tub. The smell has gotten stronger and leaves an odor on clothes and skin. Not a happy customer and pretty concerned.

Greg g

Please give us Arlington water back. It seriously taste worse than Grand Prairie water!!

Charllotte Armstrong

Arlington is known for having some of the cleanest water in the nation, does drawing water from a different source change this fact?

Donna Henke

I have noticed at times the water looks clear when immediately poured from faucet, yet when it sits for a minute I see little dots swirling around. The odor to me is like a lake with a slight fishy smell

Gay V

It tastes exactly like the water did in the early 80’s. Which is exactly why
I switched to bottled water at the time as even the ice tasted bad. I hope it really is going to go back to normal by the end of the week. Thanks for the heads up.


Would the ozone cause unusually high dissolved oxygen levels in what should be dionized water?


Thanks. It taste terrible. Even my ice tea and dr pepper. No one else noticed so thought I was crazy

Jenni P

Is there an estimated time frame to go back to the previous water supply? I miss my wonderful tasting Arlington water and bottled water will get expensive.