Algae In Lake Ivie Turns Up In Abilene

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - The O. H. Ivie Reservoir is one of Abilene's water sources, and after a boom in algae growth, some evidence of that algae is winding up in Abilene sinks, showers, and faucets.

That algae shows up not as a dark green goop coming from the sink, but as a taste and smell that can be described as earthy or musky.

The water from Lake Ivie is sent throughout the city, and although the algae residue is more concentrated in the southern portion of Abilene, it can go nearly anywhere in the city.

A number of factors can be the reason behind the explosive growth of algae. It could be due to the lake "rolling", which is when the cold bottom water and the hot surface water trade places. In addition, water levels have risen from recent rains.

Rodney Taylor, Director of Water Utilities says, "It's really hard to target exactly what it is. Because we've been in a dryer spell, and then having the sudden inflow, that typically could trigger an algae event."

The water is still being treated as normal, and the algae doesn't cause any problems for treatment facilities. Taylor says that typically, "it just gets filtered out.", but he notes that if the concentration of algae is high enough, "it could cause shorter runs on our filters and more backwashes."

The water should return to normal soon, but in the meantime, Taylor says that the water is perfectly safe to drink, even if the smell and taste is a bit off putting.


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