Osceola Water Taste & Seasonal Water Changes

The Osceola Water Works has confirmed that West Lake, the resource used for Osceola’s drinking water recently turned over, causing our drinking water to have an unusual taste and odor. Lake turnover is the process of a lake’s water turning over from top to bottom. During the summer, the surface layer is the warmest. It is heated by the sun. The deepest layer is the coldest. The sun’s radiation does not reach this cold, dark layer. During the fall, the warm surface water begins to cool. As water cools, it becomes more dense, causing it to sink. This dense water forces the deep water to rise, “turning over” the layers. This is a natural process in lakes that happens frequently. With West Lake’s levels being low as well as the limited distance the water has to be treated, the impact on water taste and odor are more noticeable.water taste and smell in osceola iowa

This week the Osceola Water Works received numerous calls and comments from customers scattered throughout the city regarding the unusual taste or odor of the drinking water. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not enforce water quality standards for taste or odor causing compounds, these compounds in higher levels can affect the water’s taste and odor. Taste and odor causing compounds do not pose a health risk to the public.

From The Osceola Water Work’s perspective, although your drinking water is safe to consume, we want your water to taste good and be odorless as you would expect. We also assure our water customers that all water treated by the Osceola Water Works receives complete treatment in accordance with state and federal regulations and meets the Primary Drinking Water Standards, as established by the EPA.

The Water Works personnel continue to work diligently to resolve the problem. Our staff is using various pumping methods, treatment processes and additional treatment chemicals to address the issue.

Through this this week and continuing on to next week, the Osceola Water Works team will be flushing the water lines to rid them of the poor tasting water and pushing cleaner, treated water through the system. Until this process is completed, some customers may still experience the taste and odor. We ask, in this situation, please notify the Water Works team where the water is tasting or smelling odd so we can focus on treating the most prevalent lines.

As an alternative approach, should you notice a bad taste or odor in your drinking water please try placing a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator to minimize the taste and odor before drinking.

For additional information on the safety of your drinking water please contact the Water Works Superintendent, Brandon Patterson at 614-342-1435, on his cell at 641-414-9374, or email OsceolaWater2@Windstream.net . Also, you can leave comments on our “Contact Us” page that will be sent to the appropriate Water Works team member.

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  1. how is this being treated and with what? is there any other things to try to make the water better.

    • Larry,
      Thank you for your comments. Osceola Water Works recently did a complete carbon change out of all of our 8 filters. In past years we only changed out four each year. Because of degrading raw water quality issues in West Lake we weren’t seeing as long of a life expectancy out of carbon. With the degrading raw water quality the carbon was being used up faster and therefore wasn’t as effective with battling taste and odor issues. We also switched back to coal carbon this year, instead of using the coconut carbon. Coal based carbon is supposed to be better suited for surface water applications. The other chemical we use to tackle this issue is chlorine dioxide. With West Lake being located so close to the treatment plant, we are very limited on chemical treatment options we can use because of the short contact time. With the increased frequency of carbon change outs we should be better able to handle the taste and odor issues during the summer months. We are and will continue to research better treatment options to resolve these issues. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us.

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Questions? You Can Contact Osceola Water Works Today.

208 West Jefferson Street
PO Box 515
Osceola, IA 50213
P: 641-342-1435
e: osceolawaterworks@windstream.net