Archived Story

‘Fishy’ city water safe, temporary [UPDATED]

Published 6:27am Monday, December 31, 2012 Updated 8:28am Monday, December 31, 2012

If your water has been tasting a little fishy for the past few days, you’re not alone.

Several complaints have been made recently about a slight water odor throughout Fergus Falls. There is no need to worry, however, as this is a seasonal issue that is usually fairly short-lived. Despite the smell, city officials also assure it’s perfectly safe to drink and use.

With this year’s warmer fall and late winter, the issue has been drawn out slightly, said Fergus Falls Water Treatment Plant operator Dion Schleske.

“When the temperature in the water cools off on the surface, the lakes switch over,” he said. “The top part switches to the bottom, and the bottom comes to the top, and in the turnover, you get a stirred up mess.”

The fishy smell comes from algae in the Otter Tail River, where the water originates, that gets mixed up in the turnover. The treatment plant has been working diligently to ensure the effects felt by residents are as minimal as possible, Schleske said.

Water at the plant is tested about every two hours, and water is being tested in various locations throughout the city daily. The city might begin to flush areas with fire hydrants to get some of the stagnant water moving, Schleske said.

“I would say, if it’s really bad, run the faucets a little longer to get the water sitting in the pipes out and the new water in,” he said.

Schleske said he hopes the problem will only last about another week, but it could drag on longer.



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