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Hot weather may affect water taste

Post Date:05/12/2014 8:42 AM

Water customers in the San Diego County may notice an earthy or musty taste and odor to their water.  Our source water comes from Lake Skinner in Riverside County. Large blooms of algae are common in lakes during periods of hot weather. When the algae die, it can release two different chemical compounds, Geosmin and Methyl-Isoborneol (MIB). These two compounds cause the taste and odor in the water but they are not harmful.

Two of the three treatment plants that serve Vallecitos use ozone as part of their disinfection process, which can remove both Geosmin and MIB. However, the levels recently experienced in Lake Skinner were above normal and some passed through the treatment plants.  The levels are now under control at the treatment plants, but it may take a few days before the water passes through the District's distribution system. With another hot week of weather expected the water will move quickly through our system, but it may also result in more Geosmin and MIB production in the near future.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Shawn Askine, Water Operations Supervisor at (760) 744-0460 or email

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