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City of Tyler explains bad-tasting water

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TYLER (KYTX) -- The city's utility department said Tuesday that it's temporarily shutting down a water treatment plant and ordering tests on water coming out of Lake Palestine. The city is also assuring all of its 33,000 customers that the water, regardless of taste, is completely safe to drink.

At her south Tyler apartment, Claire Faulkner is tired of turning the tap and getting a smell and a taste that she calls "nasty."

"It's like out of the yard or something," she said. "Like just dirt. Fresh dirt or something."

For herself, she's turned to water filters. But she's more worried about her young son.

"It kind of concerned me because I make my son formula and I use the tap water," Faulkner said. "And I kind of stopped doing it because I didn't know if there was something wrong with it. So I started getting like bottled water to put in his bottle instead."

"Sunday was the first we heard of it," City of Tyler Water Utilities manager Greg Morgan said. "We did receive a number of complaints on MoNday and have continued to receive some today, but it's not a safety concern."

Morgan said all the rain last week washed a bad-tasting but harmless algae called Geosmin into lake Palestine. That's the reason most of the complaints are coming from west of Broadway and south of Highway 31.

That's also why the city has shut down its Lake Palestine water treatment plant.

"We'll do flushing throughout the system and this should mitigate the taste problems," Morgan said.

In the meantime another plant is taking up the slack, but Faulkner doesn't want to take any chances with her son.

"I'll probably wait a little longer before I give him any more tap water," she said.

Morgan said people should notice a change in the water between now and the end of the week.

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