Various people in the greater Philadelphia region have been noticing that their tap water tastes and smells different, and the problem can be traced back to the Schuylkill River.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has detected elevated levels of a naturally occurring, nontoxic bacteria, which has caused complaints from customers of six different water systems that draw their water from the river, DEP spokesman Jamar Thrasher said.
The affected water systems include the Pottstown Borough Water Authority, Pennsylvania American Water (Royersford and Norristown), Phoenixville Water Department, Aqua America Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Water Department.
The elevated levels of the 2- methylisoborneol cyanobacteria have prompted complaints since July 6 from people in West Pottsgrove, Lower Pottsgrove, Pottstown and Spring City, Thrasher said. He added that tests have shown no danger to people drinking the water.
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Thrasher said the DEP is working with the affected water companies to address the issue. In the meantime, he said, customers can chill their water in their refrigerator and add lemon juice to improve the taste and reduce odors.