Butler County Times Gazette
  • Water safe despite unusual odor, taste

  • Residents have been noticing an odd taste and odor to El Dorado water recently.
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  • Residents have been noticing an odd taste and odor to El Dorado water recently.
    Kurt Bookout, public utilities director, assures citizens the water is safe to drink.
    "The problem is from 2 1/2 years of drought then the lake rapidly filling in July and August," he said.
    The 20 inches of rainfall in 35 days changed the raw water characteristics, including alkalinity and pH.
    Bookout said normally they will have people report an algae taste in the middle of a hot summer, but this is different.
    To combat the issue, they have increased the powdered activated carbon dosage to four times the normal amount.
    "It will take a week or so to cycle that water out," Bookout continued.
    Since they are already having issues with the taste of the water, the city decided to go ahead and do some routine applications.
    Every two or three years they have to switch to "free chlorine" for a week or two to disinfect the system, and they are planning to go ahead and do that now.
    "If we don't do it now, we will have to do it in the spring," Bookout said.
    They typically do this in response to low chloramine levels at the extremities of the distribution system.
    "We are not experiencing chloramine residual problems, but thought we should do proactively, instead of reactively in the spring," Bookout said.
    The free chlorine won't help the taste or the odor, but when it is added some people report smelling the chlorine in the water. They will start adding the free chlorine Monday.
    "Again, the water will be safe to drink and this is a normal maintenance activity that almost all cities perform on a regular basis," Bookout said.
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