Why does water in South County taste weird right now? Here’s what’s happening

Does your drinking water smell or taste weird?

Customers of the Lopez Water Treatment Plant in the communities of Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Avila Beach and Shell Beach may notice an “unusual” taste or odor in potable water over the next week, according to the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Works.

That “musty or earthy taste and odor” is the result of compounds produced from blue-green algae and organic matter in surface waters, the agency said in a Tuesday news release.

Though unpleasant, the tastes and odors produced by the algae and organic matter do not present any health risks, and are routinely monitored and regulated only as an aesthetic concern, the release said.

The Lopez Water Treatment Plant is adding additional treatment to the water leaving the plant, the release said.

“The water supply is perfectly safe to drink, and no water quality standards are being violated,” Public Works said.

Customers can improve the taste of their drinking water by using a water carbon filter pitcher, the release said.