TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The City of Tyler said customers of Tyler Water Utilities may be experiencing a spike in Geosmin, a taste and odor compound, in their drinking water.

The city said the water is safe to drink and continues to meet or exceed all federal and state water quality standards.

Geosmin is non-toxic and safe to consume, the city said. It typically produces an “earthy” odor and is naturally present in some foods like beets, spinach and mushrooms.

Officials said that during colder months, Geosmin levels in Lake Palestine typically increase.

“TWU feeds the maximum amount of Ozone and PAC (powdered activated carbon) at the Lake Palestine Water Treatment Plant to minimize the potential for any noticeable impact. The water treatment plant can typically remove more than 95% of the Geosmin compound between the raw water and treated water samples,” the city said in a release.

It is detectable by humans at a very low taste and odor threshold, the city said, which is why it is treated for year-round.

The City of Tyler said the water quality is continually tested and monitored for compliance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

TWU customers are encouraged to try chill their water, add ice cubes, a slice of lemon or a few drops of lemon juice to make the water taste better.

Customers experiencing a strong “earthy” taste and odor in their water can contact the Water Service Center at (903) 531-1285 to report their location.

To see more information about the city’s water and get a copy of the latest Water Quality Report, click here.


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