PE.com-An algae bloom at Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet has affected the water supply for a vast swath of Southern California, making tap water for some people in Riverside and San Diego counties taste “musty” or “earthy,” according to the Metropolitan Water District.
Officials say, however, that the water poses no health hazards to those who drink it. They also say it is not a threat to fish or wildlife.
The massive water district operates Diamond Valley Lake as a reservoir and water from that 4,500-surface-acre lake is commingled with the supply at Lake Skinner near Temecula, a 1,400-surface-acre body of water.
MWD taps both Diamond Valley and Lake Skinner to send water to the San Diego County Water Authority and the huge water wholesaler also provides water from those reservoirs to local districts that serve Southwest Riverside County agencies: the Eastern Municipal Water District and the Western Municipal Water District.
Western spokeswoman Michele McKinney Underwood said the musty odor may be more pronounced for customers of the San Diego County Water Authority, which was receiving raw water. But local customers have reported getting a faint whiff as well.
“We did get one email that I’m aware of from someone in the Murrieta area,” she said. “More than anything, it was the San Diego area.”
Eastern Municipal Water District spokesman Kevin Pearson said there’s no cause for alarm if local residents get water that appears to have been affected by the bloom, a common occurrence at open surface reservoirs in warm months.
“It poses absolutely no health and safety risk whatsoever,” he said.
The Rancho California Water District in Temecula purchases water from both Western and Eastern to serve its customers. Rancho spokeswoman Meggan Valencia said the district treats that supply before sending it along to homes. Some people with keen noses, however, may be able to notice a difference.
“They can still smell the trace amounts in our water,” she said.
To improve the taste of water affected by the bloom, Valencia said people can chill it before consuming.
Water officials say they have treated Diamond Valley Lake for the bloom. Story Source>link
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