AUSTIN --- Austin Water is monitoring a natural occurring algae bloom in Lake Austin that does not affect the safety of our drinking water but may cause an unusual taste and odor.
Austin Water’s routine sampling and testing of our raw water supply has detected elevated blue green algae levels that may lead to concerns of a “musty” taste and odor. The taste and odor is a result of the completion of the blue green algae bloom. The water is safe to drink but as the algae complete the bloom it releases compounds that impart a grassy, earthy, musty taste to the water.
To minimize the impact, Austin Water is adding activated carbon into the treatment process. The activated carbon adsorbs the compounds released by the algae that create the unusual taste and odor. By introducing activated carbon in advance Austin Water expects to minimize the impact of any potential taste and odor issues. However, there is still a chance the taste and odor issue may not entirely be eliminated.
Austin Water will continue to monitor and test for potential taste and odor issues until we are confident that the algae bloom is complete. It is important to understand that the water is safe to drink and that Austin’s tap water continues to meet all regulatory standards.