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An algal bloom or marine bloom is a rapid increase in the production of algae in an aquatic system. They may occur in freshwater as well as marine environments. Algae are considered to be blooming at concentrations of hundreds of thousands of cells per milliliter, depending on the causative species.
The colors observed are green, yellowish-brown, or red.
Bright green blooms may also occur. These are a result of blue-green algae which are actually bacteria (cyanobacteria).
The change in taste and smell is caused by non-harmful byproducts of a naturally occurring algae bloom in our source water called geosmin and MIB (2-methylisoborneol).The City of Shreveport receives its water from Cross Lake. Surface water is prone to algae blooms when there is warmth and sunlight.
Geosmin is produced by several classes of microbes (including cyanobacteria, actinobacteria, and Streptomyces) and is released when these microbes die. Communities whose water supply depends on surface water like our city can periodically experience episodes of unpleasant tasting water when a sharp drop in the population of these bacteria releases geosmin into the local water supply. Under acidic conditions, geosmin decomposes into odorless substances.
The City’s drinking water is safe and continues to meet or exceed all federal and state water quality standards. The taste and odor that results from geosmin and MIB is a palatability issue, not a health concern. City staff will continue to monitor and test the water.
Operators at the T.L. Amiss Water Plant continue to treat the raw water and make it potable.
We have great water quality and are meeting or exceeding all federal and state water quality standards. If we receive a customer concern, we will meet them at their residence, take samples, and flush as needed until the customer is satisfied.
The algae bloom is a seasonal event. Since geosmin and MIB are naturally occurring, they will diminish in the water supply with time and weather changes. The temporary change is anticipated to last 5 to 7 days but could last longer depending on surface water temperatures and the weather.
To make the water taste better, try chilling it, adding ice cubes, a slice of lemon, or a few drops of lemon juice.