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City says Tyler Water Utilities may notice an ‘earthy’ taste and smell in water

Users of Tyler Water Utilities may experience a splash of Geosmin, a flavor and odor compound, in their drinking water.

The water is safe to drink and still meets or exceeds all federal and state water quality standards, according to the city of Tyler.

Geosmin is non-toxic and safe to consume. It usually produces an earthy smell and is naturally present in some foods such as beets, spinach, and mushrooms.

Lake Palestine water treatment plant in Tyler pictured in 2021.

During the cold months, the level of Geosmin in Lake Palestine usually rises. TWU supplies the maximum amount of ozone and PAC (powdered activated carbon) to the Palestine Lake water treatment plant to minimize the possibility of any noticeable impact. A water treatment plant can typically remove more than 95% of the Geosmin bond between raw water and treated water samples. Geosmin is captured by humans at a very low taste and odor threshold, so it is processed all year round.

The city’s water quality is constantly tested and monitored to meet the requirements of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

TWU recommends that customers try chilling the water by adding ice cubes, a slice of lemon, or a few drops of lemon juice to improve the taste of the water.

For more information on city water and a copy of the latest water quality report, visit cityoftyler.org.

Customers experiencing a strong “earthy” taste and smell in the water can contact the water center at (903) 531-1285 and report their location.

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