Odd-smelling water is okay to drink

“Ekurhuleni customers may have experienced an odour in the water. This is due to the presence of geosmin that mostly occurs in the hot summer season,” said Zweli Dlamini, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s acting spokesperson.

“There is no need to be alarmed. The water is safe to drink.”

He said geosmin is a naturally occurring compound produced by bacteria in soil and algae found in surface water.

“The intensity of these odours is related to the increased densities of blue-green algae that normally occurs on the water surface of the Vaal Dam during summer,” Dlamini said.

“Rand Water has put in place an extensive water quality monitoring programme.

“Should there be an indication of an increase in frequency and duration of geosmin occurrences, precautionary measures will be taken to remedy the problem in due course.”

Geosmin is harmless; however, those with a very sensitive receptor for the flavour of geosmin can offset the taste by:

• Using a carbon filter. While the filter may not eliminate the taste entirely, using one can improve the flavour and make water more palatable.

• Investing in a reverse-osmosis water treatment system. This is the most effective system for removing all geosmin from the water.

• Cooling your water in the fridge. The colder water will make your taste buds less receptive to the flavour of geosmin (this is a temporary solution).

Customers are advised to visit www.reservoir.co.za for more information on the water quality in their area.

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