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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad
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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad
by smittyhoo on October 4th, 2009

A few days ago tap water started tasting bad. Anyone else experience this?
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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad
by MelissaLovelace on October 4th, 2009

I usually drink the filtered water from my refrigerator's water dispenser. However, I've noticed I'm cleaning pink mineral (I assume) build-up frequently in the showers, tubs and sinks. Any suggestions of better ways to keep those areas free of the pink stuff are welcomed!

I've also noticed a cloudy build up of something on the shower door, and some days the water seems slimier/has that 'can't get the soap off'' kind of feeling more than other days. That it varies seems of interest, but maybe not? I am curious about what this is doing to us when we shower, cook, drink and otherwise consume it. Melissa
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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad
by Mehul on October 4th, 2009

We've noticed it, but only after the faucet hasn't been used for a few hours. Its particularly prominent when first used in the morning. The smell disappears after running the faucet for about 15-20sec. Interestingly, We've only noticed this in the kitchen faucet water and not elsewhere. We've had the City of Austin water dept. look into it---they came out and "flushed" some lines. We also had a plumber come out and take a look at the problem---he said he's encountered a few other households with the same problem, but could not pinpoint the problem.

The problem still persists.

My brother-in-law (who also lives in Mueller) also has encounter similar problems.

Our solution (not optimal) is as noted above, to let it run for 15-20secs, before using and resorting to the filtered refrigerator water for drinking/cooking.

I'm not sure this the same problem that you're having, but maybe similar.

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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad
by jzimm on October 4th, 2009

No way I know of to prevent the pink stuff--I've experienced it everywhere I've lived in this town. Standard cleaners (Bon Ami and the like) seem to work well enough. If you're cleaning it off glass, a vinegar-based solution is effective, but keep that away from stone surfaces.
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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad
by Chris on October 4th, 2009

You are probably tasting the Great Austin Algae Bloom:

I first noticed this phenomenon one fall a few years ago when it was particularly bad--it was stronger that year than it is so far this year, so bad that year that for weeks I was lugging gallons of drinking water home to my downtown residence. The flavor that is in the water right now is the same as that time a few falls ago, just not quite as strong (at least not yet). The taste is in tap water all over town right now.
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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad
by danx111 on October 4th, 2009

Has anyone contacted the water dept? Could be city wide or just confined to RMMA
Austin Water: For general questions, comments, or concerns, please send e-mail to
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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad
by jillians on October 4th, 2009

I believe it's city wide. I was unaware of it until a customer asked about it today. Seems the tap water at Chuy's was off a few days earlier and ours was funky as well.

As for the "pink stuff", I believe it's a very common bacteria called Serratia marcescens.
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Tap Water Started Tasting Bad - Water Dept response
by danx111 on October 5th, 2009

We are currently experiencing an algae bloom in our raw water supply, Lake Austin, which is causing some customers to detect a musty, dirty taste to the water. We are treating for it at our plants using Powdered Activated Carbon. The problem is an aesthetic one, and is not a health issue. The algae are counts are beginning to decline, which is when the taste and odor problems occur. We expect and hope the counts will continue to decline and the taste and odors will be gone.

The taste issues could be an unrelated matter, and if you want to provide me with addresses of taste and odor problems, I will have our field crews check it out. If you would like, you and others can call 972-1000 and report the problem.

Let me know if you have questions or comments.

Thank you.

Charles R. Maddox, P.E.
Water Regulatory Manager
Austin Water Utility
625 E. 10th St., Suite 300
Austin, TX 78701
512-972-0138 FAX

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