Consumers in southwest Riverside County joined San Diego County residents in coping with a musty taste and odor in their tap water, but the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California stressed Tuesday that there is no health hazard and the situation is expected to improve in a week.
The earthy taste and smell stem from an algae bloom in Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet in southwest Riverside County, which is affecting supplies being delivered to the San Diego County Water Authority as well as southwest
Riverside County's Eastern Municipal Water District and Western Municipal Water District, according to the MWD.
The impacts vary because the agencies blend imported MWD water with
Water quality experts suggest refrigerating tap water to help improve its taste until the problem diminishes.
Metropolitan isolated Diamond Valley Lake as the source over the weekend
and treated the algae bloom, which also has impacted untreated supplies in
nearby Lake Skinner. The MWD stressed that the treated water is safe for
consumers and that fish and wildlife will not be impacted.
Algae growth in open surface reservoirs is typically a seasonal problem that usually occurs in warm months. As in previous years, the cause of the
current taste-and-odor incident has been identified as geosmin, a nuisance
compound produced from the growth of certain algae in freshwaters throughout the world, according to the MWD.
Metropolitan is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19million people in six counties.