The Danville Water Treatment plant has received some calls regarding an odor and taste difference in the city’s water.

Alan Johnson, director of water and wastewater treatment, said they noticed a change in the water on Tuesday afternoon around 4 p.m, as the plant does a taste/odor test every hour.

“We checked our storage tank at the Ballou Park reservoir, and we did catch a little hint of that same kind of potato bin, earthy, musty odor there, but it was very minute,” Johnson said.

He said they hoped that the odor and smell would have dissipated easily, but after receiving reports from citizens, they realized that was not the case.

The smell and taste difference is caused by algae that forms in deep, and some shallow areas as well, parks of the Dan River, the city’s water resource. The algae develops the odor compounds.

To fix this, the plant feeds increased carbon into the treatment system beginning around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Johnson said that some quantity of water untreated with carbon could have been distributed, causing citizens in Danville to taste and smell it. Until that water is cycled out, some citizens may continue to notice the difference.

However, the water is completely safe, as the department does regular quality assurance checks on the processed water at designated sample stations throughout the city.

“We use the sample stations to make sure we’re producing good quality water and it stays that way throughout the distribution system,” Johnson said.

Johnson hopes that this will be a very short lived occurance of the noticeable taste/smell difference.

“We’re monitoring at every hour here and we’re not detecting anything in diluted samples here,” Johnson said.

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