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Water Taste & Odor Notice

August 29, 2023 | Bureau of Water

Some customers residing in the east, southeast, and northeast areas of our water distribution system may notice an earthy or musty taste and odor in their drinking water. This is due to algae blooms in the Conestoga River. Your water is safe and meets all regulatory guidelines. 

Membrane filtration technology is used and can filter out algae and other organic material. Enhanced coagulation is used to help the membrane filters remove the algae and other organic particles easier. Both treatment techniques together greatly reduce taste and odor. Unfortunately, during large algae blooms some natural algae metabolites might still cause a taste and odor problem, which, although disagreeable, does not affect the safety of your drinking water. City drinking water meets or exceeds all local, state, and federal drinking water regulations. 

The duration of the taste and odor depends on the severity of the algae bloom in the Conestoga River. It could last from a few days to several weeks. Another important factor is precipitation, if we receive good rainfall that will help remove the algae from the river.

The City’s water plants continuously monitor and test multitude of parameters using both in-line monitoring equipment and hourly tests by operators. The water is also tested throughout the distribution system, at various locations to ensure that the drinking water is safe and meets all USEPA and PADEP regulations.

If you have any questions, please call the Water Quality Lab at (717) 291-4818, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.