Officials say B'ville water OK to drink, taste due to high water temps

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - What is being described as an "earthy" taste and odor to Bartlesville's water is no cause for concern, but only is a nuisance, according to Bartlesville city water officials.

Residents in Bartlesville, Dewey and in the rural water districts depended on Bartlesville's water supply began noticing the taste during the weekend.

City of Bartlesville Water Plant Superintendent R.J. Jinkins, who noticed the taste at his home Saturday, told 2NEWS the taste is due to high water temperatures at Lake Hudson which feeds Bartlesville's water supply.

He said as of late, the surface temperature has heated to upwards of 90 degrees due to the region's record high temperatures, causing the water to take on the flavor of the earth that contains it.

"It's been something brewing out there and finally it's hit us," he said, saying, though the water poses no danger or health risks.

Samples for analysis taken at least 40 times within the last month have returned clean, he said.

"The water is perfectly safe to drink. The taste and the odor is just something that is unpleasant."

That said, city staff has been instructed to change the water intake level at the lake from the upper level to the mid-level, where water should be cooler — thereby reducing the taste.

Jinkins said if this adjustment will cause an improvement in the water's taste, residents should realize it within the next 24 to 36 hours.

"Everything within our physical capabilities to do we are doing. We just need a break from Mother Nature."

The City of Bartlesville supplies water to not only Bartlesville residents, but to three additional municipalities, five water districts and to a private water company.

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