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Tapped out: SEQ set for weeks of drinking water that tastes like dirt


If you think the water coming out of your kitchen tap has tasted a bit off lately, you’re not alone.

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The recent wet weather has caused organic compounds to find their way into the raw water supply for much of south-east Queensland, with the result being tap water that tastes like dirt.

Water authorities are working on the problem but insist the compounds, methyl-isoboreol and Geosmin, are safe to drink despite their earthy taste.

“These compounds usually exist in low numbers, but recent weather conditions, including rainfall followed by warm temperatures, high levels of sunlight, and calm waters, have increased their levels,” Seqwater said in a statement.

Seqwater is taking steps to reduce the change as much as possible, by moving water around the SEQ Water Grid and making additional releases from Wivenhoe Dam.”

The bad taste has become something of a talking point on social media, with several TikTok videos doing the rounds of peoples’ reactions to taking a sip of the offending water.

It is likely to take a few more weeks before the region’s tap water returns to its usual taste and odour.

Geosmin, caused by blue-green algae, is partly the cause of the distinct earthy smell when rain falls after a long dry period.

In the meantime, Seqwater suggests chilling the water or adding a slice of lemon to improve the taste.

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