Wilmington residents reporting spigot tastes or smells earthy or musty

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According to the City Water Quality Laboratory, algae growth is not uncommon this time of year and is actually an annual warmer weather problem for many water systems.

WILMINGTON (DE) BY DIGITAL STAFF: Some eyebrows are raising after some Wilmington residents have reported in recent days that the drinking water from their home spigot tastes or smells earthy or musty.

In response to the reports, city officials say, upon investigation, the City’s Water Quality Laboratory determined that the problem is being caused by algae that is growing at an accelerated rate due to higher summer temperatures. Specifically, it is metabolites from the algae that are producing the slightly off-putting smell and taste. The City said the water is safe to drink and there is no need to boil the water.

According to the City Water Quality Laboratory, algae growth is not uncommon this time of year and is actually an annual warmer weather problem for many water systems. Even though the metabolites from the algae are harmless, the human senses of taste and smell are extremely sensitive and can detect them in the water at concentrations as low as four parts per trillion.

The Department of Public Works Water Division is taking steps to address the water quality issue and any residents or businesses with questions should call Wilmington’s Customer Service Center by dialing 311. The following website also has information about this type of water issue: DrinkTap.org.

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