Rain, Runoff Contribute to Musty Water


Have you been wondering about that musty odor in the water coming from the tap in the kitchen or from the shower? 

The Beaver Water District has issued the following information to explain why.

“With more rain than normal during the spring of this year, we’ve had more runoff in the lake, which brings with it more nutrients,” said Larry Lloyd, COO for the Beaver Water District. “Nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, make algae grow faster. Algae can give off smelly chemicals that cause unpleasant tastes in drinking water. We recently received a reading of 36 parts per trillion for geosmin in a water sample from the lake. The literal translation for ‘geosmin’ is ‘earth smell.’ In water, blue-green algae release geosmin, which can be detected by some people at levels as low as five parts per trillion.”

While similar to the fall taste and odor event, which is caused by a different algal compound, the district does not typically see this excessive algal growth in the spring. While this year is different, the good news is that geosmin episodes usually last less than two weeks, while the fall MIB episodes can last as long as six to 12 weeks.

 The district will be reviewing its treatment scheme in an effort to minimize the effects of the algae. 

“These taste and odor issues occur at this same time in certain years when all of the environmental conditions are present,” Lloyd said. “And this is not unique to our area. It’s just a seasonal event. We want to be certain that all of our customers get the message that the water is safe to drink.”

Categories: Commentary