Although residents have been reporting tasting “earthy-flavoured” water coming from their taps, the City is assuring locals that it remains safe to drink.
In an official statement, the City attributes the taste in water to the presence of a harmless organic compound called geosmin in the raw water supply.
“The City of Cape Town would like to reassure residents who have detected an earthy flavour to their tap water that it remains safe to drink and compliant with SANS241 standards.”
According to the City, geosmin does not pose any 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.”
Geosmin can be found in water during periods of hot weather. High levels of geosmin are present in the Theewaterskloof Dam, affecting the taste and smell of the water supplied from the Blackheath and Faure Water Treatment plants to the northern, central and southern areas of Cape Town.
In an effort to tackle the issue, the city is currently “dosing powdered activated carbon during the water treatment process to reduce the effect of the geosmin.”
The process will not reflect immediate results and it may take some time for the taste and smell of the water to return to normal.