Some customers in Roxborough and East Falls have been noticing an earthy odor in their drinking water. This is not uncommon in spring and summer when warmer water temperatures and abundant nutrients encourage blue-green algae to grow. While the algae are removed by water treatment, the earthy odor remains in trace levels of geosmin – a naturally occurring product of microorganisms found worldwide in soil and water. This compound has no reported health concerns and so it does not affect the safety of the tap water.

If you notice any unusual odors, call our customer information line at (215) 685-6300. This allows PWD to track customer concerns and make necessary adjustments in treatment to control the odor. As a resident, there are a number of clean stormwater tips you can use to help keep these nuisance algae down in the watersheds. And if you’re thirsty for more information on your drinking water, check out the 2013 Water Quality Report. Previous Water Quality Reports can be found here.