Source: WorldNow and Quincy Herald-Whig   By Matt Hof
The city of Quincy continues to treat its water with activated carbon powder to remove an “earthy” taste and smell that has persisted for more than a week in the city’s drinking water.

City officials said the problem should have been fixed last week, but complaints continue, though David Kent, the director of utilities, says they have subsided a bit.

The problem is because of an increase in algae entering the system, which is being caused by the current stage and slow movement of the Mississippi River.
“We are getting a good dosage of carbon into our water treatment plant,” Kent said. “We have seen that the odors, as far as the raw water source to going through the process, are being reduced at the present time.”

Kim Pickle, the owner of Washington Perk, 428 Maine, said she has not received any complaints from customers getting their morning cup of coffee, but she has tasted “off” water elsewhere in the city.

“Even at home, I don’t have any problems,” she said.

More than 6,500 students in Quincy’s public schools have access to water fountains. Krista Finklea, the principal at Dewey Elementary School, said she hasn’t heard any complaints on water taste from students, parents or staff members.

“I see kids at the water fountains filling up their water bottles,” she said.

“I’ve been drinking the water, and I don’t have any complaints,” said Sara Cramer, the principal of Washington Elementary School.

Kent said the taste continues because not all the water in the system as been treated with the carbon.

“Last week, we had water that went out in the distribution system that didn’t have the carbon applied to it, and what’s happening is we’re getting a reduced odor number from the treatment plant mixing with water stored at our storage structures,” he said.

The city maintains a 22-million gallon reservoir at 22nd and Chestnut, a 1-million gallon water tower at 1020 Vermont, a 1-million gallon standpipe at 39th and Wismann Lane and 750,000-gallon supply at 42nd and Harrison.

Kent said the water is safe for consumers to drink.

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