The City of LaGrange has recently received reports from residents experiencing unusual taste or odors in their water.
“Unfortunately, every year during the late summer and early fall we battle the earthy taste and smell associated with algae growth in West Point Lake and our treatment basins,” Director of Utilities Patrick Bowie said.
Some years are worse than others depending upon rainfall, lake levels, temperature change and other factors, Bowie said.
The exact cause of the problem is geosmin, a naturally occurring compound in blue-green algae, which is released when algae dies. This substance can be detected by humans in quantities as low as 20 parts per trillion.
“You may recall that we had a very bad outbreak in August of 2002, which prompted us to make some operational changes. We routinely seed our on-site reservoir with copper sulfate to prevent algae growth and wash the settling basins regularly during the summer as well. These steps help to mitigate the algae growth, but this year were obviously not enough,” Bowie said.
The city has increased the feed of treatment chemicals powdered carbon and chlorine dioxide to the maximum rate.
It is important to note, Bowie said, that there are no health threats to the public associated with the problem.
“Our operators are highly trained, certified by the State of Georgia, and working hard to solve the problem,” he said.
The city hopes to have the algae problem under control within the next few days.
Customers who have any questions or concerns are asked to contact the utilities dispatch office 24/7 at 706-883-2130 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.