An update from Osceola Water Works regarding taste & odor issues:

A note from Brandon Patterson, Osceola Water Works Superintendent.

As the Superintendent of Osceola Water Works, I take great pride in the fact that Osceola Water Works makes the delivery of safe quality water its number 1 priority. We follow all state regulated requirements and are happy to say we haven’t had any violations regarding our water system since 2012.

I would like to commend Lezlie Ceran for her extensive research regarding water quality improvement. As pointed out on the Osceola Scoop water quality can be improved in the lake, and we agree.

Some of the actions Osceola Water Works has been taking to improve and maintain water taste and odor:

In 2014 Osceola Water Works, with the help of a CCDC grant, placed two solar bees in the lake to help with water circulation. The solar bees cost was $108,973.

osceola water works clean water taste and odorSuggested solutions for better water taste and odor:

Using potassium permanganate to help with taste and odor issues is another solution that was mentioned.

While this is a good suggestion, it just isn’t viable with the close proximity of the lake to the treatment plant.  It does not have enough contact time for the permanganate to work effectively.

Instead, Osceola Water Works uses chlorine dioxide to help with taste and odor issues. We recently invested $12,000.00 in new chlorine dioxide equipment to help combat taste and odor issues. Even with the new equipment, we still have regulations on the limits we can safely feed.

Activated Carbon

We currently do use Activated Carbon in our system and change the carbon in all 8 filters annually instead of every other year as done in years past.

This is an expensive investment, the last change out costing nearly $13,000/filter for an annual total cost of $104,000 but provides great benefit to the water utility and our customers.

Copper Sulfate

The water utility has used copper sulfate for a number of years for algae control in the lake. I am also aware using copper can potentially cause other issues in the lake over time. This is why we worked and researched and now use sodium carbonate in addition to the copper sulfate to treat the algae. Sodium carbonate is much safer for the lake and can actually help put oxygen back into the lake. The solar bees mentioned above also help with this.

Future Reservoir

Currently, the Clarke County Reservoir Commission is working on acquiring land from willing sellers to construct a new water reservoir (information can be found on that, here). The proposed reservoir will be located some distance from the water treatment plant and will allow the water utility to have additional contact time throughout the Summer (when water taste issues are greatest) in the transmission lines. This will allow more effective treatment with solutions like sodium permanganate.


Osceola Water Works is aware of the taste and odor issue and continues working to resolve it.  The lake seems to have turned over twice with the temperatures getting cooler and now heating back up again and we have made some adjustments over the weekend that will help.

Today and tomorrow, (Tuesday-10/13 and Wednesday 10/14) we are flushing throughout the distribution system to help with the issue.

We appreciate your input and apologize to our customers for the issues they are experiencing. If you have further questions or concerns please contact me on my cell phone at 641-414-9374 or stop by the Water Works office at 208 West Jefferson Street. I would be glad to discuss any issues further.

We appreciate your understanding and continued support. We will continue to work towards improving the water quality in Osceola with keeping water rate increases as minimal as possible.

Brandon Patterson, Osceola Water Works Superintendent

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