Water Services - Drinking Water Quality
Taste and Odor
What causes the musty taste and odor in water?
- Water occasionally contains dissolved matter that causes a noticeable taste and odor.
- Taste and odor issues are mainly due to the city’s use of surface water (water from rivers that are stored in lakes and reservoirs). Warm temperatures and sunlight cause algae to grow in lakes, reservoirs and canals. The algae produce chemicals that are not harmful, but cause a musty or earthy taste or smell when they die.
- People have varying sensitivity and tolerance to the musty taste or smell of water.
- Glendale and other cities in the Phoenix area usually experience two periods a year when taste and odor issues peak. One occurs in the Spring (lasting about 3 weeks), and a second in the Fall (lasting about 6 weeks).
What protections are in place?
- Although there is currently no federal requirement controlling the taste and odor of drinking water, Glendale will complete installation of a granular activated carbon filtration system at the Cholla Water Treatment Plant in 2006. The city will also have the carbon filters at its new Oasis Water Campus Facility, which is scheduled for completion by 2008.
- A granular activated carbon filtration system is very effective in improving the taste and odor of water.