Wichita Falls citizens express concerns over tap water

Published: Aug. 9, 2016 at 2:58 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2016 at 3:15 AM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Has your water been tasting and smelling different the past couple weeks?
If so, you are not alone.
The city of Wichita Falls has been receiving around four to five calls a day about their tap water tasting like dirt and must.
Mark Southard, Water Purification Superintendent, said it is a combination of variables, such as the lake possibly turning and algae and bacteria building up.
    "It is a by-product of our disinfection process," Southard said. "When we start disinfecting the water, we kill that algae and bacteria. But they release their compounds that cause tastes and odors. They are very difficult to treat in the treatment plant."
Southard said the water is safe to drink.
    "The water is perfectly safe to drink," Southard said. "What we are experiencing is not a quality issue. It's an aesthetic issue. The water still exceeds state and federal drinking water standards."
However, not all locals have noticed it.
    "I have heard about it," Wichita Falls Resident, Darren Fross said. "But I have not noticed it. I take a shower everyday and haven't noticed any difference in smell."
Whether you notice it or not, the city is now trying some new approaches and hoping it helps within the coming days.
    "We've taken some more broad approaches, like flushing out in the distribution system, that will help take care of the issues as well."
In the meantime, there are things you can do to help alleviate the odor.
    "One thing we typically tell citizens is that if you take a pitcher of water and put it in your refrigerator, cooling that water down can help alleviate some of those tastes and odors," Southard said. 
Southard said the excessive heat is to blame for the algae and bacteria build up, along with the lake possibly turning.
The city said they will help residents the best they can during the situation and ask everyone to be patient.
Southard said this has not been as much of an issue in several years because lake levels have to be high for the lake to turn over.

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