ELLINGTON, SOUTH WINDSOR, VERNON, CT (WFSB) – Connecticut Water said some residents in Ellington, South Windsor, and Vernon customers have reported a musty, earthy taste and smell to their water.
Joan Zaugg, of South Windsor said, “I started noticing there was almost like a mildew smell to it and it just didn’t taste right.”
Zaugg said she started noticing something was wrong with her water several weeks ago. “Probably two or three weeks ago we started buying bottles water. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
The company said water being delivered to customers does meet all drinking water standards, and said higher than average rainfall this summer caused an increase in natural, organic matter being found in the Shenipsit Lake Reservoir, and other reservoirs across the northeast.
The first few calls came in near the end of September, and increased in early October, and the company gave customers an update on Oct. 7.
The two naturally occurring compounds being found are Geosmin and Methyl-Isoborneol (MIB).
“These compounds are byproducts of organisms that live in surface water and they can significantly increase under conditions such as those we’ve recently experienced,” Connecticut Water said.
Craig Patla, the VP of Service Delivery at CT Water Company said, “It emits a compound that has the effect of having a musty or earthy taste or odor to it.”
Officials said the water from Lake Shenipsit is filtered and treated to make sure it meets all standards on state and federal levels.
“The treatment process brings Geosmin and MIB to extremely low levels, however, even at low levels, such as 5 parts per trillion, these compounds can be tasted and produce a musty smell. 5 parts per trillion is equivalent to five drops of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool,” Connecticut Water said.
Over the past week, testing has shown that the levels of Geosmin and MIB are decreasing.
Officials also said with colder weather coming back, it’ll also help resolve the taste and odor issue.
“CT Water continues to test for these and other compounds, as well as a variety of organisms to evaluate whether there is anything harmful in the water,” the company said.
Patla said the water is safe to drink., he encourages customers to call them if they’re having issues. “we will dispatch our crews to flush the water main breaks in the street.”
As the algae decreases, Patla said they will flush the water out of the distribution center and hopefully bring freshwater in.