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The earthy tasting water in Singleton is alright to drink!


The earthy tasting water in Singleton is alright to drink!

Singleton Council has received numerous reports of water smelling or tasting musty or earthy affecting the Singleton Water Supply Area. 

They are investigating, but at this stage believe it to be from Geosmin and Methylisoborneol (MIB) which are naturally occurring compounds that have an earthy taste and odour.

Extensive monitoring continues to confirm there are no health risks associated with the drinking water, as Geosmin is only an aesthetic concern.

Council's General Manager Jason Linnane said the water is definitely safe to drink. 

"What I can give everyone absolute assurance of is that our water and our testing is always meeting the compliance of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines so people don't need to worry about it being a safety issue."

"It's a bit of a naturally occurring compound that sort of comes around on a seasonal basis," he said.

"They're naturally occurring and they do produce that earthy taste and a little bit of an odour, again stressing to people there is no need to worry about it."

"Unfortunately it can't be removed by any of the common or normal treatment processes so we've just got to put up with it for a period of time."

Human noses and tastebuds can detect Geosmin and MIB at very low concentrations. These compounds are sometimes present in drinking water, but not usually at noticeable levels. Seasonal increases in naturally occurring algae or bacteria in the dam can cause a rise in Geosmin and/or MIB above the taste and odour threshold. 

Putting water in a jug in the fridge can help with any taste and odour issues.

Council is undertaking further investigations to resolve taste and odour as quickly as possible and apologises for any inconvenience.

Jason Linnane said they've also had a few issues with water mains breaking and needing to be fixed over the last fortnight. 

"When it rains it floods,"

"First of all we know that our water and sewer network needs a lot of attention and a lot of love, in the past decade we haven't spent enough money on making sure we rehabilitate our water and sewer network and it only becomes obvious when it doesn't work."

"We've got a major investment program that commenced last year and will go until the end of this year and will carry on into next year to rehabilitate our water mains, our sewer network, pump stations, all of those sorts of things," said Jason.

Image credit: Singleton Council Facebook page