Weatherford’s water taste and odor project is progressing to phase two.
Phase one, which was to replace the existing filter media with Granulated Activated Carbon water filter media, has been completed, City Communications and Marketing Coordinator Nicole Wright said in a Facebook video. This phase cost about $220,000 and was supposed to remove 20 percent of the taste and odor compounds.
Phase two, which adds more GAC contactors at the water treatment facility, is in the design phase and is expected to be done in 2021, Wright said. This phase is expected to be more difficult and detailed. It is expected to remove compounds by more than 90 percent and costs about $5 million.
“Our water does meet all regulatory requirements for safe drinking water, but our current process was not very effective at removing taste and odor compounds,” Wright said.
Wright continued to explain that the taste and odor compounds are caused by geosmin, which is released naturally when algae dies. This can happen more in summer and winter.
When the news of this project broke earlier this year, many people commented on the Weatherford Democrat’s Facebook page about their experiences with the water. They talked about issues with the taste and smell and implied that the city should address the water quality.
Weatherford resident Kat Pickron was one of those commenters, and she said her household had to purchase an $8,000 water system to alleviate the issues. However, in the past couple of months, Pickron said she hasn’t noticed a smell to the water like there was before.
“I haven’t had any issues with the smell or anything like that lately, with the exception of a few times here and there, it’ll kind of smell weird,” Pickron said.
Pickron also said that clothes would smell moldy after being washed, and that hasn’t been happening recently.
“That’s been a definite plus,” Pickron said.
Pickron described the water as either dirty or bleach-like.
“When we first moved this way, I guess we had co-op water, so sometimes it would be well and then sometimes it would be from the city,” Pickron said. “Somedays it would be like brown and super gross, and then with sediment in it, like dirt and stuff. Then somedays it would literally bleach out our clothes and ruin a whole load of laundry.”
Pickron used to live near the Brazos River off Tin Top Road but moved into town about a year ago. Even with the water system and the move into town, she still said the water would smell like rotten eggs and fishy, or look dingy.
The city’s efforts to make changes to the water quality is awesome, Pickron said.
“That shows that they knew there was an issue and were being proactive in trying to correct it,” Pickron said.
When asked about her thoughts on phase two of the water project, Pickron suggests the city get feedback from residents to see if the second phase is necessary.
Also concerning water, Wright said a new water tower is planned to be constructed near Bowie Drive and is currently in the design phase.