Santa Barbara- S County

Non-Toxic Algae In Water Creates Bad Taste and Smell

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Central Coast Water Authority (CCWA) says that funky taste you have probably encountered while drinking water is a non-toxic algae - a natural toxin that will not affect your health.

David Perez runs Stinky's Grill in Santa Maria.

He says "the taste is hard to describe" and that he first noticed it last week.

Perez says he has gotten a few comments from customers, but it's nothing he is too concerned about since "they will just switch over to a soda or an ice tea."

John Brady with the Central Coast Water Authority says a small amount of non-toxic algae got into the water, which is why some people may experience an unusual taste and smell. 

Brady says to fix the problem CCWA ordered a 150 pound machine to release powdered activated carbon into the water stream.

Once the machine is in full swing, CCWA expects it to take no more than three days before people begin to notice a difference in the taste of the water.

Former Santa Maria resident Mark Correll says he has "had far worse" water.

Correll told KCOY 12's Cory James that when "you come to Bakersfield you can smell the water … before you even drink it."

Central Coast Water Authority says the last time something like this happened was in 2004.

In addition to treating the water, CCWA is working to figure out where the natural toxin is coming from to prevent this problem from happening again.

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