Temporary Taste and Odor Changes to Tap Water Continue in Parts of Maryland

Last week we let you know that customers served by WSSC Water’s Potomac Water Filtration Plant (Potomac River) may notice a change in the taste and odor of their tap water because of algal activity in the Potomac River. The customer alert remains active on the WSSC website and the service map can be seen below.

Per WSSC, This temporary change is not harmful and is due to an increase in a naturally occurring substance, Geosmin, caused by warmer weather and low water levels in the Potomac River. The naturally occurring compound, Geosmin, has no health effects at the current concentration. Despite the taste and odor issues, the water remains safe, meeting all EPA Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

WSSC Water has made changes to the water treatment process. While these changes won’t eliminate all taste and odor issues, they are expected to improve. If the low water levels in the Potomac River persist and drought conditions do not improve, the taste and odor issues will not be resolved in the short term despite treatment changes. Boiling the water will not improve the odor. Flushing the water lines inside homes or flushing the WSSC Water mains in the impacted areas will not improve the taste and odor issues.

WSSC Water continues to monitor levels of Geosmin at the plant and provide updates. Customers can always reach WSSC (24/7) by calling the Emergency Call Center at 301-206-4002 or complete this form to report a water quality concern.

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