Blue green algae (AP/Ng Han Guan)
Updated: Wednesday, 18 Jul 2012, 2:19 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 18 Jul 2012, 2:15 PM EDT
AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - Central Texans are noticing a funky smell and taste coming from their water, and it's all Mother Nature's fault.
While it doesn't affect the safety of the drinking water, an algae bloom that happens naturally in Lake Austin is causing the unusual characteristics -- including a "musty taste and odor" -- to the H20.
Austin Water Utility crews are monitoring the bloom after routine samples and tests of the raw water supply detected higher levels of blue green algae.
Officials said the taste and odor happens when the algae bloom is near completion. The water is safe to drink, but as the algae complete the bloom it releases compounds that impart a grassy, earthy, musty taste to the water.
To counter the effects, the city is adding activated carbon into the treatment process. That will adsorb the compounds released by the algae that create that unusual taste and odor.
Still, officials said there is still a chance the taste and odor issue may not entirely go away.
Meanwhile, crews will continue to monitor and test for potential taste and odor issues until the algae bloom is done.
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