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Beaver Water District says algae is to blame for taste/odor issues in drinking water

The growing amounts of algae in Beaver Lake may lead to some customers experiencing a different taste and smell of their drinking water.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Northwest Arkansas residents may be experiencing some distinct taste and odor issues in their drinking water. Beaver Water District (BWD) says algae is the culprit behind this.

According to BWD, the growing amounts of algae in Beaver Lake may lead to some customers experiencing a different taste and smell of their drinking water.

Officials say it's important to remember that the water is still safe to drink.  

“In the summer, conditions in Beaver Lake can favor the rapid growth of algae,” said Lane Crider, CEO of Beaver Water District. “While most algae are relatively benign, some can impact the taste and odor of the finished drinking water.” 

Crider says that some customers may be sensitive to the water's taste and smell, but the blooms are typically short-lived. 

Officials say that while taste and odor issues can occur due to environmental conditions, human actions can also be a contribution. 

They're asking residents to help keep Beaver Lake free of too many nutrients, which contribute to the growth of algae, maintain your septic systems, don’t over-fertilize lawns and contain sediment and dirt on construction sites with silt fencing or other stormwater best management practices. 

Want to minimize the distinct taste and smell of the water? you can do so by chilling the water or add lemon to it. Officials say carbon filters can also be effective in removing the taste and odor compounds in the drinking water.

“These issues are not unique to our area,” Crider said. “These are seasonal aesthetic events that may last a few days or several weeks. The timeframe varies depending on specific water conditions and algal characteristics. No matter how short or long the duration of the event, however, we want to assure our customers that the water is safe to drink.”

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