A combination of full water storage tanks, warm water temperatures and a power surge that knocked out an aerator in the tanks has resulted in some smelly water in Bayfield for the past few weeks.
"We have been keeping the storage tanks full this summer to ensure that we have adequate water in facilities to prevent the need to use storage water from Vallecito Reservoir," Town Manager Chris La May said in an email. "The large amount of water, coupled with elevated temperature in the tanks, created turnover in the water storage tanks affecting the taste and odor."
The aerators are now operational and the taste and odor should dissipate, he added. The water still meets state drinking water standards.
Because of drought and fire danger, the town has kept the water tanks close to capacity this summer, added Ron Saba, the town's public works director.
"The tanks do have mixers but normally we raise and lower the tank levels substantially several times per month to keep them as fresh as possible," Saba wrote. "This has been problematic this year as we do not want to get caught wasting storage water or not being to capacity for a fire. The lake is also very low and we are experiencing an influx of organics from the bottom that cause taste and odor issues. We our working diligently to eliminate the issue and would anticipate it not to last much longer." Water temperature is part of the issue as well, Saba added. Typically water leaves the plant at 65 to 68 degrees, this year it's ranged from 71 to 74 degrees. Saba said his crews normally would flush the water by opening town fire hydrants, but they haven't wanted to waste water during the drought.