DC Water’s response to resident concerns regarding drinking water odor

Washington Aqueduct where the water treatment process starts courtesy DC Water

From DC Water:

“We saw this post earlier this morning and wanted to contribute to the information sharing. The musty odor and taste that some residents are experiencing are caused by algae byproducts that occur seasonally in the Potomac River and drinking water reservoirs. The concentrations of these byproducts are extremely low and are not harmful to human health.

This year has been particularly noticeable, but the taste and odor should disappear very soon because of the colder weather. A carbon-based filter, such as a Brita pitcher, will help to reduce the taste and odor. The Potomac River and the drinking water in the District’s distribution system are constantly monitored to ensure the safety of the water. If you have any questions about the quality of your drinking water, please contact our Drinking Water Division at 202-612-3440 (M – F, 8am – 4:30pm).


9 Comment

  • The water tastes and smells awful, but a Brita filter hardly helps. I’ve been dealing with this for months.

  • And water rates just went up! Go buy a water filter and call us in the morning.

  • That was nice of them to at least respond!

  • I appreciate the info. And for the complainers who are so outraged over the water, which alternative water source would you recommend DC get its water from?

  • DC Water, thanks for the responding to yesterday’s discussion!

    The water has been tasting awfully musty lately so glad to know it’s only temporary. I know some people love to complain about DC tap water or brag about how discerning their taste buds are but, for the record, I think DC tap water usually tastes good (yes, occasionally you get more of a chlorine taste i guess in the spring during flushing, but for the most part it usually tastes good. just not lately).

  • It’s wonderful to see them respond so rapidly.

  • I noticed it seemed to stop tasting gross in the last day or two. Anyone else notice the same?

  • Hey guys,

    This is Andy and I work for DC Water. Thank you for the positive feedback. Our goal is to be as responsive as possible. I’m glad that the taste has improved. If you’re curious about our water treatment process, check out this storify that we made.

    If you have any more concerns or random questions, please feel free to tweet @dcwater.

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