Burleson, TX residents are having taste and odor problems with their drinking water which is purchased from Fort Worth. While the water has been determined to be safe to drink, officials have acknowledged that it does have an “earthy smell and taste”.
Tests indicated an increase in the levels of a substance called geosmin in Lake.
Geosmin is a type of bicyclic alcohol produced by actinobacteria and released when those organisms die. City officials have said that colder-than-usual temperatures in December and January killed off the actinobacteria and released the geosmin into Lake Benbrook. Geosmin levels there are the highest seen in years.
Fort Worth uses ozone as a primary disinfectant which has the side benefit of removing taste and odor compounds like geosmin from the water. To combat the increased level of geosmin, the water department has increased the dose of ozone injected into the water. In addition city has also started blending the water from Lake Benbrook with water from Cedar Creek Lake.
Many factors such as seasonal variations and weather can result in changes in the level of taste and odor compounds in surface water sources such as lakes an reservoirs. It is difficult to predict these changes and develop counter measures. Ozone has been found to be one of the more effective and economical agents for this purpose since it not only removes the taste and odor compounds, but also disinfects the water.