City of Guthrie officials says some of their residents are sharing their concerns about the drinking water smelling and tasting a bit off. The City says they have been working on the issues for multiple weeks now.
City Manager Eddie Faulkner says lake levels at Guthrie Lake and Liberty Lake remain low with the limited amount of rainfall. When you combine that with the warming water temperatures of the lakes, the taste and odor may present a problem.
“A majority of the issues related to taste and odor that is coming from Guthrie Lake which is the lake that we are currently pulling from results in low water levels,” Faulkner said.
Water from Cottonwood Creek continues to pump 1,500 gallons per minute 24 hours a day into Liberty Lake, which also adds another level of the taste and odor issue.
“(The) ultimate solution would be to perform a major flush program on the distribution system. Unfortunately, this would result in a huge amount of water loss that we really cannot afford to flush out on the ground due to current health and safety concerns on our water supply,” Faulkner said.
The City first shared its concerns on the water issue several months ago in January. Public Works Director Tenny Maker said that based on the daily flow, at the time, there were approximately 187 days left on Lake Guthrie and 291 days left on Liberty Lake for a total of 478 days. With the latest data, there are 300 days left at Liberty Lake and 250 days at Guthrie Lake.
In the last 14 days, Guthrie has officially received 1.75 inches of rain, but the lakes remain several feet below level. Guthrie Lake sits at 7.67 feet below level and Liberty Lake at 5.43 feet below.
Compared to a year ago, Guthrie Lake was full and Liberty Lake was down 1.5 feet.
“We are gaining on our lake levels,” Faulkner said. “Every rain we get is nice. Cummalitevly, we are down nearly half of our supply.”
To help with the taste and smell situation, the City has been utilizing a Powder Activated Carbon (PAC) chemical that enhances the taste and smell of the water. This does not impact the quality, or the level of safety provided in the water for the past two weeks.
“This does not impact the quality, or the level of safety provided in our water.”
With the current situation, Faulkner says residents can change their water filters more frequently to assist the smell and taste.
Last month, the City elected to not open the municipal pool for the summer and limit the time used of splash pads. In early May, the City closed off all boat ramps at the lakes.