The water supply in Santa Maria remains safe for consumption and use despite an unusual taste or odor due to heat-induced algae compounds in the state water supply, according to a press release from the city of Santa Maria.
The city of Santa Maria received notification from the Central Coast Water Authority (CCWA) that high temperatures created ideal conditions for blue-green algae blooms in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, affecting State Water Project customers, including the city. The unusual taste or odors that some customers may detect are due to compounds produced primarily from blue-green algae and organic matter in surface waters, imparting a musty or earthy taste and odor. Customers may have various levels of sensitivity to the taste and odor imparted by the algae.
Although some customers may find these tastes or odors to be unpleasant, they do not present any health risk. They are routinely monitored and regulated only as an aesthetic concern and not as a health concern. Chilling water or adding citrus prior to drinking helps to reduce the earthy or musty odor and taste.
CCWA is increasing its water monitoring and testing, as well as adjusting its process by initiating additional treatment to reduce the taste and odor issues in the water delivered to the city.
Questions may be directed to the Utilities Department at 805-925-0951, extension 727.