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City of West Columbia explain problem with water’s taste and smell

West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) - The City of West Columbia is making every effort to let its water customers know that there’s nothing unhealthy or harmful in their water. Recently, customers have complained that the West Columbia water coming out of their faucets smells bad and has an unusual taste. West Columbia’s Lake Murray plant is the source of water for most residents in the central and southern portions of the county who buy their water from a government entity.

According to West Columbia, Lake Murray is currently experiencing turnover, a naturally occurring event that increases organic matter in the water. Since our region has experienced periods of heavy rain followed by long dry, hot weather this summer, this turnover has been more prevalent. As a result, the water treatment facilities that draw from Lake Murray have pulled water with extremely high levels of organic compounds into their plants. This can cause an earthy, musty taste, and odor in the water.

The City of West Columbia released a statement Thursday saying all its water from the West Columbia Lake Murray Water Treatment facility has been thoroughly tested and meets all South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) standards. The issue has an impact on taste and odor only and isn’t a water safety concern.

The release also explained that the City of West Columbia is ready with additional measures to address the effect of the increased organic compounds. They are seeking approval by DHEC to implement those measures now.

Of West Columbia’s approximately 14,000 customers, the city has received approximately 35 complaints from its customers regarding water taste and odor. The Town of Lexington and the Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission buy their water from the West Columbia, and they have received similar complaints about the water’s odor and taste. When someone complains, information is provided so they will understand the issue and feel comfortable knowing their water is safe to use.

If customers do experience a change in water quality, they’re asked to call customer service at City Hall. They can be reached by phone between 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, at 803-791-1880.

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(803) 587-3144

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