A. Lee Graham
Water from Fort Worth’s Rolling Hills and Westside water treatment plants is safe to drink despite changes in taste and odor, according to city officials.
Both Fort Worth and Arlington water utility departments report the changes, with the entire city of Arlington impacted but only Rolling Hills and Westside water treatment plants affected in Fort Worth.
Both water departments assure their customers the water is safe for drinking, cooking, bathing and all other purposes, though it has what Fort Worth officials call an “earthy smell and taste.”
Last week, Tarrant Regional Water District changed from the water supply for the treatment plants to Lake Benbrook due to maintenance on the pipeline from Richland-Chambers Reservoir. The district also shut down the line from Cedar Creek Lake late last week due to a break on the line.
Water quality data from the district indicated that levels of geosmin have been steadily rising in recent months, according to a Fort Worth news release. Fort Worth water officials describe that as a normal occurrence for this time of year. Geosmin is a naturally occurring compound produced by bacteria in soil and algae found in surface water. Cold temperatures kill off algae in surface water, and the dead algae release the geosmin.
Hoping to resolve the issue, both Fort Worth and Arlington have increased the dosage of ozone at their treatment plants. Ozone is used to disinfect the drinking water, and it can help with resolving taste and odor issues, but not in all cases.
Customers may improve the taste of their drinking water by:
· refrigerating the water in an open container; or
· adding a slice of lemon or lime.
Wholesale customers that regularly purchase water from Fort Worth include Bethesda Water Supply Corp., Burleson, Crowley, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dalworthington Gardens, Edgecliff Village, Everman, Forest Hill, Grand Prairie, Haltom City, Haslet, Hurst, Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Northlake, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills, Roanoke, Saginaw, Southlake, Trophy Club Municipal Utility District, Westlake, Westover Hills, Westworth Village and White Settlement.