Once again, as the weather warms up, the algae bloom has returned to the Martinez Reservoir, owned by the Contra Costa Water District and the source of the city's drinking water. This means tap water that tastes and smells moldy or otherwise unpleasant.
But city and CCWD officials stress that the water is pefectly safe to drink, despite the taste and odor problems.
City Engineer Tim Tucker said the problem was first noticed last Saturday, and treatment began right away. A two-tiered water treatment was done by CCWD, which is expected to help destroy the algae and return the water quality to normal.
"CCWD has treated the source water to bring the algae under control, and the city has adjusted the treatment process to control taste and odor in customers’ drinking water," Tucker said. "Over a short period of time, this two-pronged approach is expected to resolve the issues."
However, he suggested that residents fill pitchers with water and refrigerate them, since the taste and odor problems seem to be worse with warm water.
Meanwhile, the city is using treated water from other CCWD sources that do not suffer from the algae problems.
"The algae bloom is caused by our source water, which comes from the Delta," said Jennifer Allen, a spokeswoman for CCWD. "We want to emphasize that the water is safe to drink, despite the taste and odor problems."