If you have been experiencing an earthy taste and odour in your household drinking water you’re not alone.
Hunter Water has reported that low levels of blue green algae in Chichester Dam have contributed to the condition of tap water across some areas of Maitland.
A Hunter Water spokesperson said the algae has also contributed to an increase in the naturally occurring compound geosmin, which can cause water to have an earthy taste or odour.
There are no adverse health effects associated with geosmin.
“The presence of blue green algae is not uncommon, and is generally caused by environmental factors including warm temperatures and calm, stable water conditions,” the spokesperson said.
To improve geosmin removal, Hunter Water has established a temporary facility north of Dungog, which will dose the water with powdered activated carbon (PAC).
PAC is non-toxic and will be removed at the Dungog Water Treatment Plant.
“Our tap water remains safe to drink,” the spokesperson said.