Harmless Odor and Taste in Water
The water supply in Santa Maria remains safe for consumption and use despite the potential for an unusual taste or odor.
The City of Santa Maria received notification from the Central Coast Water Authority (CCWA) that high temperatures created ideal conditions for blue-green algae blooms in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, affecting State Water Project customers, including the City. The unusual taste or odors that some customers may detect are due to compounds produced primarily from blue-green algae and organic matter in surface waters, imparting a musty or earthy taste and odor.
Although some customers may have various levels of sensitivity to the taste and odor imparted by the algae, they do not present any health risk. Odor and taste are routinely monitored and regulated as an aesthetic concern only, not as a health concern. Chilling water or adding citrus prior to drinking can help to reduce earthy or musty odors or taste.
The CCWA is increasing its water monitoring and testing, as well as adjusting its process by initiating additional treatment to reduce the taste and odor issues in the water delivered to the City. Although some customers may find these tastes or odors to be unpleasant, they do not present any health risk.
Questions may be directed to the City of Santa Maria Utilities Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 7270.