The recent changes in taste and odor of the treated surface water being delivered by the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (the “Authority”) to a few districts are believed to be the result of a spike in Geosmin and Methyl-Isoborneol (MIB) which are naturally occurring compounds found in Lake Houston. All recent test results have confirmed that the water being supplied by the City of Houston to the Authority and by the Authority to its customers is indeed safe and meets all State and Federal drinking water requirements.
The Authority purchases treated surface water from the City of Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant (the “NEWPP”), the raw water source of which is the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston. Seasonal changes such as temperature and rainfall events can influence Geosmin and MIB levels in the water in Lake Houston. Seasonal changes in the lake can impart variations in taste and odor of the treated surface water. The City of Houston continuously monitors the incoming raw water and the finished water leaving the NEWPP to ensure its compliance with all applicable State and Federal drinking water standards.
The Authority is working with the City of Houston to mitigate the variations in taste and odor to the maximum extent possible. Proper disinfection levels are being monitored and maintained. Flushing, where appropriate, is being done to help alleviate the situation. The Authority is continuing to monitor, sample and test the water coming into our system and throughout our transmission and distribution system to ensure that the drinking water being delivered by the Authority is safe to drink.