Earthy water taste, smell could last another week, Quincy utilit - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Earthy water taste, smell could last another week, Quincy utilities director says

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

One week ago Monday, the City of Quincy blamed its bad smelling and bad tasting water on high algae in the Mississippi River.  Officials said it would improve in a few days.  But on Monday night, many residents say it's worse. So, what's going on?

(See "Quincy utilities treating water for earthy taste, smell")

Workers are using about 1,000 pounds of powder-activated carbon each day to try to end the bad taste and smell in the drinking water.  And Kent explains why more people are just now noticing the taste.

"Some of the water that got into the distribution system into our ground reservoir out at 22nd and Chestnut street before it was treated with activated Carbon. As the consumption demands of the city go on, then the reservoir and the transmission lines will take that water that was untreated and distribute it to different parts of the system," Kent said.  

And that's why more people in Quincy are being affected by the taste and odor.  In fact, residents like Mary Kinscherf didn't notice the taste right away, but once she did, she started to buy bottled water.

"I just thought I didn't notice it and maybe I wasn't that sensitive to it, but then Saturday I actually took a glass of tap water and said Oh Yuck, and then I remembered and dumped it out and said I'm not drinking that," she said.  

In fact water sales have been so high at the Hyvee on Broadway, they've had to call in other distributors from Missouri and Indiana to keep up with the demand.

Hyvee's Product Manager Mark Rubison said the amount water people are buying is unbelievable.

"In fact that last week we've probably doubled our movement. From last year at this time, we've sold normally 25-30 cases a week for gallon water. Right now we're over the 50 plateau, and it's still going out the store really fast," Rubison said.  

City of Quincy Director of Utilities David Kent said he expects to get rid of the water's earthy taste in another week, and that the water is still safe to drink.

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