Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[2:18] “[The dirty smelling and tasting water originates from] a compound called geosmin, which actually comes from the Greek [words] for earth and […] odor. […] And that compound was identified back in 1965.”
[2:55] “It's really come to the fore in California more than other places, but […] you see it all over the country, all over the world even. […] The reason it's been […] more prominent in California recently is because of the drought conditions that have been going on for a long time. And so when there's lower levels of water in the reservoirs and the lakes, you're going to get more of a concentration of the geosmin. And also, you can have algae blooms in the cyanobacteria. The blue green algae is one of the things that produces geosmin.”
[3:51] “The good news is, it's not harmful. […] [We have] super sensitive olfactory systems and taste buds. So people detect even very, very small quantities of it. It's just not very pleasant, but it's at the level that it's found in the waters completely safe.”
[6:16] “The municipal water companies will say if you refrigerate it, it will make it less pungent or adding lemon to it can mask the flavor too. The tough part about this is that the standard ways of […] filtering the water or what the municipal water companies do won’t take it out. It requires a more intense kind of treatment and it's quite […] expensive.”
[8:59] “It’s a very good likelihood that we would expect to see more of it. And it's not just from the drought conditions, but also algae blooms. […] So that can affect the water systems if the water companies are getting the water from surface water.”
[10:19] “Because [the] reduction in the source water is really when it becomes more prominent. We all can help to be better stewards of the water that we're using. So just trying to conserve water whenever we can.”
Hydroviv Blog: Why Does My Tap Water Taste Like Dirt?