WIUM Tristates Public Radio

"Unusual" Taste/Smell Leaving Keokuk Water

Mar 9, 2014

Keokuk residents should notice their water tasting more “normal.”

Waterworks General Manager Bill Cole says in late February, the water plant increased the amount of chlorine used for treatment to deal with excess sediment and organic material.

He says the excess sediment was stirred up from the bottom of the Mississippi River by heavy rain and the ever-present ice jam north of the dam.

Cole says the extra chlorine made the water safe to drink, but it resulted in a distinct taste/smell for customers.

He says that is coming to an end as the chlorine levels are being backed down.

"We are still slightly above our normal feed rates, but the organic matter over the last 4-5 days has just continued to decline," says Cole, "so the river is settling down."

Cole says the best case scenario for the water plant would be for the ice jam to melt in the next week or so.

He says the water reaching the plant has been about 33 degrees, which also changes the treatment method.