Water treatment officials working to cleanse "earthy" taste in A - FOX Carolina 21

Water treatment officials working to cleanse "earthy" taste in Anderson

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ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

You may not be  able to see it above the surface, but the algae in Lake Hartwell is causing headaches and nausea for some Anderson County residents.

Jeff Caldwell, the Utilities Director for Anderson Electric City Utilities, says they get complaints every week of the "earthy" taste and smell.

"It's very bad," described Caldwell, "Our customers are complaining and they're increasing by the day."

According to Scott Willett with the Anderson Regional Joint Water System, algae in the lake produces what is called MIB. It's a natural waste product of algae that is not harmful, but causes the taste and odor. 

"Unfortunately about 2 weeks ago, it went from the 20-30 parts range up to bout 200," explained Willett. "A ten-fold increase which completely overwhelms our plant's ability to treat the water in the plant."

They've treated the lake in recent weeks to bring those parts down. Willett says they're also building a new state of the art pre-treatment facility to combat the problem in the future.

"Right now we treat about 30 parts successfully," explained Willett, "This facility will allow us to go up to 600 parts"

However, it will not be up and running until 2018. Until then, the lake will undergo further treatments to lessen the effects of algae for the area's consumers.

More treatments are being planned, but will not take full effect until Mid-July.

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