On Monday, reports of Bloomington’s tap water tasting and smelling bad continued to come into the city’s uReport system.
One example: “The smell and taste of the water has been absolutely disgusting for at least three weeks. Has the cause been found yet? It makes me nauseated to run the tap in my home.”
At Monday’s meeting of the utilities service board (USB), city of Bloomington utilities (CBU) director Vic Kelson told members the taste and odor issue had essentially been solved. But it will take a while for the good tasting water to work its way through the distribution system, Kelson added.
A point of emphasis in communications from CBU over the last several days has been that the bad taste and smell pose no danger to human health.
The cause of the dirt or fish taste, according to Kelson, is naturally occurring chemicals that are produced by algal blooms in Lake Monroe—geosmin and methyl-isoborneol (MIB).
Kelson said the long hot spell with no rain towards the end of the summer had led to a large algal bloom in Lake Monroe, the source of Bloomington’s drinking water. But results from an outside lab received Monday indicated the algal bloom has diminished dramatically since last week, Kelson said.
Water treatment plant staff had increased the feed rate of powdered activated carbon (PAC), which helps with the odor, Kelson said. The amount of additional PAC will be eased off as the quality of the water coming into the plant continues to improve, Kelson said. PAC started getting added routinely to the drinking water mix in 2017.
That doesn’t mean all of Bloomington’s water will start tasting and smelling better at the same time. Starting at the water treatment plant at Lake Monroe, for a drop of water to make its way through the pipes to the farthest point in the distribution system takes seven to 10 days, Kelson said. Continue reading “Reports of bad tasting Bloomington water continue, CBU says good taste will take a while to work its way back through pipes”