Algae Blamed For Stinking Up Arlington’s Water

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Residents are complaining about stinky and funny tasting water in Arlington but the water utilities department claims it’s perfectly safe.

Amberly Long said that she first noticed that something was ‘off’ about her water last week.

“It smells like the lake and dirt and it tastes the same way,” said Long, who has stocked up on bottled water to drink, cook and clean with.

Arlington Water Utilities determined that a species of blue-green algae in Lake Arlington are the problem. These algae contain a taste and odor causing compound called Geosmin.

“It’s a very strong compound and it only takes a small amount to produce that odor,” said Craig Cummings, assistant director of treatment for Arlington Water Utilities.

Cummings said this is a season issue that often plagues north Texas but this year, the problem is worse. He said that while it might smell and taste bad, it isn’t dangerous.

“It’s perfectly safe to drink and it doesn’t cause any physical symptoms.”

The city put out an advisory and made adjustment to the water treatment process to try to alleviate the problem. Cummings said it’s a temporary issue, but they don’t have a timeline.

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