Mid-Michigan city water's funky taste, smell explained - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michigan city water's funky taste, smell explained

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Gross. Weird. Tastes like potting soil or mold.

That's what people in Saginaw have been saying about the water today.

We went around town with a bottle of water filled here at TV5 and asked people what they thought of it. 

“Yes, it smells metallic-y and like something else in there too, I don't know,” Latoya Hamilton said.

Jennifer Thomas said, “Smells like... Chlorine... Yeah it does smell different.”

Most people we talked to said yes, it doesn't smell or taste like they'd want it to. And yes, different than it used to.

So, what's the deal with the foul smelling water? Paul Reinsch, superintendent of water treatment and field operations had some answers.

“It can come from the warmer weather and also increased organic in the water,” Reinsch said.

The treatment plant gets water from two locations: a pipeline from Lake Huron and raw water reservoirs around the area.

Officials said the problem comes from one of the reservoirs that supply Saginaw with water. The heat and those organic materials has affected the taste and smell.

“We are going to take some actions to freshen it up until we can use it again,” Reinsch said.

In the meantime, water from that location has been shut out, and we're told it will take a few days to flush through the system.

But many people were still wondering the same question: why weren't people notified of the smell beforehand?

“It took us by surprise, we didn't detect it like we normally would,” Reinsch said.

But Reinsch said the water is still perfectly safe to use.

“It's not aesthetically pleasing, it just doesn't smell or taste good, but it's not going to hurt anybody,” Reinsch said.

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