Thursday February 19, 2009

Water meets all health and safety regulations and is safe to drink.

The City of Napa Public Works Department is addressing taste and odor complaints affecting the City’s drinking water.

The City has been operating the Edward I. Barwick Jamieson Canyon Water Treatment Plant, which uses North Bay Aqueduct Water (NBA), to conserve water storage in Lake Hennessey.  Runoff during the recent series of storms caused an increased concentration of organic carbon in the NBA water.  Organic carbon is decaying organic materials such as leaves and plants.  During treatment, the increased organic carbon apparently created the taste and odor problems.

“Water being delivered to customers is safe to drink and meets all health and safety regulations,” said Water Quality Analyst Erin Farnand.  "The 'earthy' or 'musty' taste and odor is an aesthetic issue and does not pose any health concerns.”

“The Jamieson Plant has been switched off and the Hennessey plant will take over delivering water to the system,” according to Water Division General Manager, Phil Brun.  “Seven City crews have been dispatched to begin flushing water lines in an effort to remove the affected water from the system.  Customers may notice sediment/particles in the water due to flushing operations.”

The Public Works Department anticipates that the issue will be resolved within 24-48 hours.  City staff will continue additional laboratory testing to ensure the water remains safe.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this might be causing our customers,” Brun said.  “The City is doing everything possible to address the problem.  I want to stress to our customers that the water may have an unpleasant odor but is safe to drink."

Residents with questions can contact the Public Works Department at 257-9521.