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Weird water? Nothing to worry about

Do not be alarmed.

Do not fiddle with your faucets.

If you have experienced an odd smell and taste in your tap water during the past week, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District assured you that it is nothing to worry about.

“The water is safe to drink and meets all drinking water standards,” a PAWSD statement reads.

People might describe this smell and taste as “moldy,” or maybe “musty.” The cause is algae growth in Lake Hatcher. This algae growth occurs during the summer months.

Several different circumstances work together to make the algae growth come about: hot temperatures, runoff from the monsoons and lack of water circulation in the lake.

“PAWSD actively treats the algae,” the PAWSD statement reads, continuing, “It is the result of the treatment which kills the algae that causes the moldy or musty smell and/or taste. Any excess chlorine smell or taste is also a result of treatment.”

According to Special Projects Manager Renee Lewis, one of PAWSD’s scheduled projects should correct this issue and prevent it from recurring in the future — connecting the lakes. By upgrading the San Juan Water Treatment Plant with the ability to treat water from the lakes, there will be a constant circulation of fresh water in all the lakes. This should prevent the algae bloom in Lake Hatcher during the hot summer months.

lindsey@pagosasun.com

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