Capetonians are going to have to get used to odd-tasting drinking water.
This as city authorities look at ways to augment dwindling water supplies through water reclamation.
With the dam levels decreasing, the concentration of algae increases.
That means our water could smell and taste a little strange.
Scientist Robert Siebritz explains: “While geosmin is not a toxic substance, it tends to be bad tasting.”
Geosmin is described as an organic compound with a strong earthy flavour.
On Monday, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille reassured Capetonians stringent tests are being done to ensure water is 100% safe to drink.
Athlone's Scientific Services branch, located at the wastewater treatment works, is in charge of this.
Some experts have expressed concern that water from the Cape Flats aquifer may be contaminated with pesticides from the horticultural zone above it.
De Lille says she's confident the water is of the best quality.
“We are testing all the new sources of water that are coming on board, so people need not worry about that. We will make absolutely sure that the water is sterilised to make it drinkable for all Capetonians.”
If your tap water has a brownish tinge and tastes earthy, there's no need to be alarmed.
Scientists and microbiologists at more than 300 Scientific Services branches around Cape Town are testing samples from various water sources every day.
De Lille visited the Athlone branch earlier, following complaints from Capetonians.
She says water pressure reduction is to blame for the funny colour and taste.
"We are testing the water quality on a daily basis."