The City of Cape Town wishes to assure residents that its “earthy” tasting tap water remains safe to drink.
“The City of Cape Town would like to reassure residents who have detected an earthy taste to their tap water that it remains safe to drink and compliant with SANS241 standards. The change in taste is due to the presence of geosmin in our raw water supply,” the City said in a statement on Tuesday.
It said the geosmin in the water supply posed no threat to human health.
“It is a naturally occurring organic compound and is responsible for the earthy taste of beetroot and the scent that occurs in the air when rain falls after a dry spell.
“The compound is sometimes present in water, particularly during periods of hot weather, and even minute concentrations of a few parts per trillion can be detected by the human palate,” the statement further reads.
It said that the city was currently experiencing high levels of geosmin in its raw water supply from the Voëlvlei Dam.
This was affecting the taste and smell of the water supplied from the Voëlvlei Water Treatment Plant to the western areas of Cape Town.
“The City is currently dosing powdered activated carbon during the water treatment process to reduce the effect of the geosmin.
“However, it may take some time for the taste and smell of the water to normalise,” it said.