Augusta takes steps to get odor, odd taste out of drinking water

  • Follow Latest News

How’s your tapwater taste?

Augusta’s Utilities Department is adding extra chemicals to drinking water this week to resolve what customers describe as a peculiar odor and a muddy flavor.

“It began the early part of last week with two to three calls a day, and spiked about mid-week,” said interim Utilities Director Drew Goins. “This week, it’s gotten a little worse.”

The culprit, he said, is a seasonal turnover of layers of warm and cold water in the city reservoir at the Highland Avenue plant, which serves the area where the customer complaints have originated.

“It’s what has been described to me as a musky taste and odor,” Mr. Goins said. “When you have a large body of water like a reservoir, as the sun heats the upper layer, you have movement in the lower layer.”

Such turnover can create unpleasant taste or odor from sediment or various organic materials.

“It’s perfectly fine to drink—healthy and just fine,” he said. “But the nose is a wonderful instrument: it can detect something as small as 5 parts per billion.”

Engineers have begun adding carbon and potassium permanganate to water from the Highland Avenue Plant to help resolve the problem. Such additives are an industry standard for odor and taste issues.

“It’s a similar situation as when you have an algae bloom, but we haven’t detected any algae in our raw water reservoirs,” Mr. Goins said. “But we are taking some precautions anyway by putting out copper sulfate.”

The problem should correct itself within a few days, he said, and is unrelated to the ongoing construction at the city pumping station along the Savannah River.

The largest number of complaints in a single day was about 10, he said. The department serves more than 68,000 customers.

Comments (15) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 03/24/09 - 03:45 pm
0
0
Maybe if the intake wasn't so

Maybe if the intake wasn't so damn close to columbia county effluent the water wouldn't taste so funny.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 03/24/09 - 03:58 pm
0
0
Everyone is Columbia county

Everyone is Columbia county isn't rich so why are you always so down on Columbia County???????

puddeecat
0
Points
puddeecat 03/24/09 - 04:05 pm
0
0
When I lived in Columbia

When I lived in Columbia County I never had a problem drinking the water. Richmond County is another story! I use a Brita water pitcher to filter the Richmond County water.

pizzato
3
Points
pizzato 03/24/09 - 04:09 pm
0
0
Perhaps the intake is too

Perhaps the intake is too close to the Columbia County waste discharge and that is what you taste? No he said it stinks so it can't be that, CC's ---- don't stink.

dani
12
Points
dani 03/24/09 - 04:51 pm
0
0
There is nothing "funny"

There is nothing "funny" about it. Thank goodness I have a filter system for my drinking water.

gnx
7
Points
gnx 03/24/09 - 07:34 pm
0
0
Columbia County's water does

Columbia County's water does the very same 'layer flip flop' as Richmond County's water every year, and will even turn color. There's really not much difference between the water systems. One thing I do not like about CC water outside of the Martinez area proper is that it will turn things pink from time to time and on Monday mornings the shower smells as strongly of chlorine as a public swimming pool. But they are minor issues and I try not to worry about it.

SargentMidTown
8
Points
SargentMidTown 03/24/09 - 10:26 pm
0
0
Our water taste so fishy we

Our water taste so fishy we boil it and add potatoes and seve it as clam chowder.

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 03/24/09 - 10:58 pm
0
0
Well considering how bad the

Well considering how bad the air stinks in Disgusta, it should be no surprise that the water would taste bad too.

georgiasouthern
5
Points
georgiasouthern 03/24/09 - 11:30 pm
0
0
Hillguy go to Houston,

Hillguy go to Houston, Brunswick or Savannah then complain about the air in Augusta. South of Gordon Hwy yes you can smell the paper mill on certain days. For the benefit of South Augusta, The paper mill should run a cleaner operation but if they closed then that would hurt Augusta allot more than smelly air.

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 03/25/09 - 12:57 am
0
0
You smell the stink all over

You smell the stink all over Augusta, but yes especially on teh Southside, and its more than the paper mill. You have the sewage plant, Olin Chemical, Kimberly Clark, Shapiros, and a host of others constributing to Augusta's ubiquitous stench. Augusta needs to focus on clean jobs... brain-based jobs instead of ones that muck up the air and the environment, that actually make Augusta a less desirable place to live. At least Savannahand Houston are near the coast and the ocean breezes mitigate the stench to a large degree... but in Augusta, the stank settles and stews.

Dodarighthang
0
Points
Dodarighthang 03/25/09 - 04:22 am
0
0
The water in the Morgan Road

The water in the Morgan Road area has a bad stinch. I have a filter, but I boil if before I cook with it. On the other hand, I buy bottled water. The water from the faucet has a smell of human waste. This is one complaint from this area, can I get NINE more so it can be tested?????????????????

disssman
6
Points
disssman 03/25/09 - 08:31 am
0
0
The reason they only had 10

The reason they only had 10 complaints in one day is probably because no one knows what P.C. titled office to call. BTW I would have thought the second largest town in Georgia would have more than 68,000 customers.

AnGie4
0
Points
AnGie4 03/25/09 - 08:55 am
0
0
yeah baby....poor in them

yeah baby....poor in them chemicals and make it allll better.

AnGie4
0
Points
AnGie4 03/25/09 - 08:56 am
0
0
lol sargent

lol sargent

mervistwitch
0
Points
mervistwitch 03/25/09 - 02:44 pm
0
0
Does the merging of Columbia

Does the merging of Columbia County's effluvia and affluence create effluence?

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs