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Water Taste & Odor Issues Update

From the City of Adrian Utilities Department:

The City of Adrian continues to experience taste and odor issues with its drinking water supply due to the increased use of water from Lake Adrian. Our current groundwater source (wells) cannot produce the volume of water necessary to meet our demands. However, we are able to maintain a blend of approximately 80% groundwater.

As with any surface water (lakes, streams, etc.), our lake is susceptible to run-off, organics, and biological activity including algae growth. Our water treatment plant is a complete treatment facility that includes coagulation, flocculation, settling, filtering, lime softening and disinfection. Plant operators conduct approximately 100 tests every day testing for hardness, alkalinity, pH, color, UV254, temperature, calcium, fluoride, turbidity, chlorine, and bacteria. Other tests are required monthly, annually, every three years, and every six years. These tests are performed at an independent lab.

Microbiological tests are performed daily including coliform and E. coli testing at the water plant tap water as well as 25 samples per month throughout the City. We have detected none of these at any of the sites. While the perception is that drinking water is bacteria free, that is not the case. We do not sterilize the water. The water is disinfected, meaning that we apply chorine over a minimum amount of time to kill any harmful bacteria and provide a barrier against any infiltration from outside the system. The added chlorine can cause problems in the system when combined with some organics (algae) including the “earthy” taste and smells that we are experiencing. We test weekly for microcystins – the indicator organism for blue-green algae that was a concern for Toledo several years ago. We have not detected any microcystins in our raw water. These results are sent weekly to the MDEQ and are recorded in our files.

All lab data is available upon request. Please feel free to call 264-4820 or 264-4825, or email Tim Ritchie or Will Sadler.

We are working directly with the MDEQ and are actively investigating and pursuing both short-term and long-term solutions to our taste & odor issues. We are currently performing the necessary tasks required by the MDEQ in order to treat with additional chemicals specifically designed for treating organic material. This may take a few weeks. We appreciate your patience through this process.

While this issue persists, please be assured that our testing methods continue to show that your drinking water is safe for consumption. Again, if you have any questions or want additional information, feel free to contact us using the contact information above.