Taste and Odor Issues

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Taste and Odor problems can occur in the spring, summer, and fall.  In the springtime, the algae are growing and blooming with the sunshine,and Hillsdale Lake does "turn over".  A lake "turn over" is exactly what it sounds like - the water at the bottom rises to the top, and the water at the top sinks to the bottom as the temperatures at both levels change due to the seasonal changes.  Summer temperatures continue the growth and blooming of the algae.  In the fall, the algae are still growing and blooming, and the lake can "turn over" again.
Gardner has not experienced any taste and odor problems with the most recent "turn over" of Hillsdale Lake, but we have experienced problems with algae.  In fact, algae are usually the base cause of all taste and odor problems the Gardner water system has experienced since we started using Hillsdale Lake exclusively for our water source.  Please rest assured that the City is doing all it can to prevent taste and odor problems, and if they do occur, we work quickly to make sure they do not persist.
When taste and odor problems occur, there are several measures the staff can take to mitigate and often eliminate, the problems.  Some of the measures we routinely take when we receive reports of problems are:
  • Adding additional activated carbon to the raw water.
  • Adding sodium permanganate to the water during the treatment process to oxidize the chemicals that cause the taste and odor problems.
  • Drawing water from our deepest intake pipes to draw water below the level where the algae live.  (Not always effective since our lowest intake is only 11' below normal pool at Hillsdale).
  • Flushing the lines in our system on dead-end and nearly dead-end lines.

If you notice a taste or odor problem in your drinking water, please call 913-856-0980 to report it.  You might be the first one to report it. if so, we may be able to head the problem off before it really gets started.