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Residents Say Their Water Tastes Funny
Updated September 28, 2015 8:13 AM | Filed under: Utilities
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(DUBOIS CO.) - Residents say their water, which comes from Patoka Lake, tastes and smells funny.

The Dubois County Free Press reports that the City of Huntingburg Water Department is aware of the problem.

Officials have been collecting and testing water samples since the problem was reported September 21.

Officials says the source of the smelly funny tasting water is from where it originated at Patoka Lake Regional Water. They either provides water or treats wastewater for 11 Southern Indiana counties which affects over 31,000 households and businesses which amounts to over 100,000 people.

The City purchases 50 percent of its drinking water from Patoka Lake.

Patoka Lake has posted a cautionary "taste and odor" notice on their website explaining what has happened (

According to the website the musty taste and odor is due to an algal bloom. Algal blooms usually occur in Patoka Lake in late July and into August each year, but can occur at any time if the right conditions exist in the water supply reservoir. Summer algal blooms occur when high temperatures warm the reservoirs, little or no rainfall has occurred, and sunlight penetrates the water allowing photosynthesis to occur. When these conditions are present, the blue green algae species Nostoc and Anabaena will reproduce or "bloom". As temperatures cool, the algal bloom dies off and produces an earthy or metallic taste and odor.

The algal bloom does not alter the quality of the water and there is no health risks.

Officials are currently treating about 8 million gallons of water per day with our Advanced Oxidation Process using light and peroxide to treat the water before it enters the system. This is not a process that they can run constantly, only when taste and odor issues arise.

The City of Huntingburg is currently flushing hydrants which will help to "flush" our system and alleviate some of the taste and odors.

The water produced at the Huntingburg water treatment plant does not have the issues with taste and odor. Water treatment operators are presently working around the clock trying to lessen our use of Patoka lake water in order to utilize more City of Huntingburg water.

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