Does Your Tap Water Smell Bad? Don't Worry

The smell is a result of maintenance work being done by Milwaukee Water Works this week.

Updated 2:50 p.m. Oct. 8

If you notice your tap water smells bad this week, don't be alarmed.

According to Greenfield Superintendent of Public Works Dan Ewert, Milwaukee Water Works, the city's water supplier, has shut down the ozone filters at its Howard Avenue plant for the rest of the week during routine maintenance and servicing.

Milwaukee Water Works informed Ewert the water is safe to use and drink, but the ozone filters reduce or eliminate the smells.

In an email sent by Milwaukee Water Works Superintendent Carrie Lewis, Lewis said customers may notice a slight musty or earthy or moldy lake water smell in their tap water, especially those on the south side or near-north side of the service area.

Work began Oct. 1, and ozone treatment will resume Oct. 15 or earlier, according to Lewis.

"Ozonation is a very effective, known treatment process for disinfection of drinking water," Lewis said in her email. "Ozone also has the benefit of reducing and eliminating earthy and musty tastes and odors in the water we take from Lake Michigan.

"In the meantime, the rest of the water treatment system at the plant is fully operational and effective, and we are continuously monitoring the water quality to ensure it is pure and safe to drink."

Mark Bradford October 09, 2012 at 01:21 PM
First of all thank you, Greenfield Patch. Secondly, would it not have been a good idea to _ preemptively_ let us know that this was about to happen? Perhaps then I would not have been arranging to have a new water heater installed, would not have bought gallons of bottled water and would not be having an acquaintance who is a plumber visit my home to check out the weird "slightly moldy, earthy smell" that apparently only I and my children can detect. Maybe the city did send out something, but since my children's school uses the auto-call feature to let us know about a lot of items, this would also have been a good use of that slightly annoying but effective technology.
Michael Radavich October 09, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I agree with mark, if people would have known in advance that the water would smell and still be safe to drink it could have prevented this scare. Thank you for the info Patch.
Joe Booj October 09, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The preemtive notification should have come from Milwaukee Waterworks! From my knowlege The City of Greenfield knew nothing until residents called with concerns about the water smelling bad. Greenfield officials made an inquiry to MWW and got the info on the filter maintenence which was past along to Patch soon after recieving. So thank you Patch and Greenfield DPW.


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