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County issues more info on murky, odorous drinking water
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Photo by Walter Randlehoff on Unsplash

Local residents may have noticed some odd coloring and smells from their drinking water, but officials with Forsyth County says the water is safe to drink and being continually tested and monitored. 

According to information posted on the county’s website, the county’s water and sewer department has installed a powder activated carbon (PAC) system at the drinking water treatment facility to reduce levels of Methylisoborneol (MIB) and Geosmin in the water, two compounds that are not harmful but may give the water an earthy, musty taste or smell.  

The compounds are produced by blue-green algae and actinomycetes and caused by the “turn over” or inversion of Lake Lanier and other land conditions that can release the compounds.   

Once the levels in the lake are reduced, the levels in the drinking water will follow.  

Per the release, the PAC system may take time for results to be seen throughout the county, and some individuals may still be able to detect the compounds once the levels have been reduced. 

As part of the installation of the system, water and sewer employees have been flushing the system at various points by opening a fire hydrant to allow large amounts of water to pass through. 

That process adds air to the system, which may give the water a cloudy or milky appearance. 

The discolored water is safe to drink, and if let to sit in a container for a few minutes, air bubbles will rise to the top and the water will clear.