Drinking water smell or taste bad? Beaver Water District says algae to blame

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Water remains safe to drink, officials say

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Noticed a strange taste or smell to your tap water lately?

Officials with the Beaver Water District say increasing levels of algae in Beaver Lake are to blame, but the water remains safe to drink.

“In the summer, conditions in Beaver Lake can favor the rapid growth of algae,” said Lane Crider, CEO of Beaver Water District. “While most algae are relatively benign, some can impact the taste and odor of the finished drinking water.”  

Crider said that, while some people may be sensitive to the taste and smell, the blooms are typically short-lived.

Beaver Water District officials say customers can help keep the lake free of too many nutrients, which contribute to the growth of algae, by maintaining septic systems, not over-fertilizing lawns, and containing sediment and dirt on construction sites with silt fencing or other stormwater best management practices.

They advise that the taste and odor can be minimized by chilling the water and/or “adding some lemon.”

Carbon filters  – the type used in water pitchers or attached to faucets — can be effective at removing taste and odor compounds in drinking water, they say.

“These issues are not unique to our area,” Crider said. “These are seasonal aesthetic events that may last a few days or several weeks. The timeframe varies depending on specific water conditions and algal characteristics. No matter how short or long the duration of the event, however, we want to assure our customers that the water is safe to drink.”

The Beaver Water District pumps water –sourced from Beaver Lake and then put through the water treatment process — to Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. These cities then store, distribute, and resell the water to their customers.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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