LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Consumers in southwest Riverside County have joined residents in San Diego County dealing with a musty taste and odor in their tap water.
Officials at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California reiterated today that the issue—an aesthetic problem caused by algae blooms in the district’s water system and not a health hazard—is expected to improve in a week.
The earthy taste and smell stem from an algae bloom in Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet in southwest Riverside County, which is affecting supplies being delivered to the San Diego County Water Authority as well as southwest Riverside County’s Eastern Municipal Water District and Western Municipal Water District. The impacts vary because the agencies blend imported Metropolitan water with local supplies.
Water quality experts suggest that consumers affected by this situation may consider refrigerating their tap water to help improve its taste until the problem diminishes.
Metropolitan isolated Diamond Valley Lake over the weekend and treated the algae bloom, which also has impacted untreated supplies in nearby Lake Skinner. Officials stressed that the treated water is safe for consumers and that fish and wildlife will not be impacted.
Algae growth in open surface reservoirs is typically a seasonal problem that usually occurs in warm months. As in previous years, the cause of the current taste-and-odor incident has been identified as geosmin, a nuisance compound produced from the growth of certain algae in freshwaters throughout the world.
Consumers interested in receiving additional information about the quality of Metropolitan’s drinking water supplies can visit the district’s website, www.mwdh2o.com, for the district’s annual water quality report and other related materials.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.