Does your tap water taste ‘bad’ this weekend? This is why.

RALEIGH, NC — Have you noticed an unusual odor or taste in your tap water in recent days?

Several people have contacted WRAL News with questions about an unexpected odor that has many Raleigh residents concerned.

A local resident described it as “almost like tea tree oil or menthol, a very different scent.”

Several other viewers described the water smelling and tasting like dirt or soil.

How safe is your tap water?
On Saturday, the City of Raleigh shared an article to help explain the problem, writing: “Some Raleigh Water customers have reported issues with a stale odor/taste in their water. The water is safe to drink and use for all purposes.”

According to the post, the smell and taste are a “spring event” and that they are “purely an aesthetic matter.”

They say Raleigh Water is working to treat the water to remove the taste and odor, but the drinking water continues to exceed all legal safety standards.

What makes Raleigh’s water smell and taste different?

The City of Raleigh explains that their water system is supplied by Falls Lake and Lake Benson, and seasonal variations such as temperature and available sunlight can cause changes in naturally occurring algae.

“One of the problems that algae most notices among water customers is its unpleasant taste and odor,” they write. “Customers typically characterize the unpleasant taste and odor as ‘earthy’ or ‘musty’.”

Raleigh officials say these changes in taste and smell are most common in the spring and fall.

It may take a few days for the taste and odor to improve, but water officials are currently working to address the problem, writing, “Activated carbon and ozone have been increased to address these aesthetic concerns.”

In the meantime, they say residents can improve the taste at home by adding a slice of lemon to a chilled, open pitcher of drinking water. Customers can also use home water filtration systems with fresh carbon.

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