Water taste, odor affected by construction accident

Some residents might notice a change in water taste and odor after a late Thursday construction accident forced the Tarrant Regional Water District to change the water source for the city’s Rolling Hills Water Treatment Plant.

The incident occurred after a construction contractor struck the 90-inch water supply line from the Richland-Chamber Reservoir, according to a Fort Worth Water Department news release.

The Rolling Hills plant is receiving a blend of water from Cedar Creek Lake and Lake Benbrook, whose water has undergone tests showing elevated levels of geosmin, which cause taste and odor issues.

Geosmin is not an issue in the water from Cedar Creek Lake, which means the blend should reduce the effects of the geosmin, according to water department officials.

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Customers in south and east Fort Worth are most affected by the source change, which is expected to last “only a few days,” according to a city news release.

When the pipeline is repaired and returned to service, Rolling Hills will revert to the source water blend from Richland Chambers Reservoir and Cedar Creek Lake.

The city’s water department has increased the amount of ozone disinfectant, which can help with resolving taste and odor issues. The department assures customers the water is safe for drinking, cooking, bathing and all other purposes, even though it may have an earthy smell and taste.

Geosmin is a naturally occurring compound produced by bacteria in soil and algae found in surface water. Cold temperatures kill off the algae in surface water, and the dead algae release the geosmin.

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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.

The wholesale customers that regularly purchase water 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.