Musty Taste, Odor in Danville Water Supply Treated with Activated Carbon

Residents of Danville, Virginia, have been dealing with strange odors and colors in their drinking water for some time, but new water treatment systems may help to curb the issue.

On Friday, Feb. 13, water treatment officials began adding carbon to the water supply to help improve the water’s taste and odor.

Crews were initially unable to pinpoint the source of the musty taste and odor, but said it may have been due to wind stirring up algae blooms or vegetation entering the Dan River, which serves as the source of the water.

Interim Director of Utilities Jason Grey stated, however, that the water had tested negative for an algae bloom.

“We are confident that the problem is not chemically based,” Grey said. “All of our bacteriological testing has been negative. The tests for the presence of chemical contaminants have been negative.”

The city hasn’t dealt with an issue like this in more than 15 years, but officials say the activated carbon treatment should solve the problem.

In the meantime, the water may still retain its odd odor and taste until the existing water is flushed out. After that, the carbon treatment should take effect.

Residents are warned, however, that the treatment may take time to reach certain customers. For some, the water needs 15 to 20 days to travel to certain regions.

The region is also expected to see a burst of snow, and officials predict that the cold weather may help kill off algae or diminish the strange taste and smell of the water.

Testing of the water will continue daily at a private lab in North Carolina, and officials in Danville say that the water is perfectly safe to drink.

Crew members are also monitoring the filtration system and checking for breaks. The Ballou Park reservoir recently underwent repairs, but there is no connection so far between the work done and the problems with the water supply.

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