Garrett’s Blog: Water Weird? You’re Drinking 2-Methylisoborneol

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First, don’t flip out: It’s completely safe to drink and within the acceptable limits; which is 1 drop per Olympic sized swimming pool or 5 parts-per-trillion.

The problem is, this stuff makes the water taste wonky. So how did it get there?

Every time you fertilize your lawn those nutrients eventually run-off into the gutters which eventually end up in the creeks which flow into Beaver Lake.

The excess nutrients feed algae which causes large algae blooms, this process is referred to as Eutrophication.

Eventually, these nutrients feed cyanobacteria which die and produce a compound called 2-Methylisoborneol (the stuff that tastes and smells weird).

All of this eventually floats to the bottom of the lake. So how does it get back to the top of the lake?

As the seasons change the water cools at the top of the lake; especially when it’s windy.

Cold water… is dense water… and dense water sinks.

This develops a circulation  which replaces the water on the top with water on the bottom.

The water on the bottom has 2-Methylisoborneol; and for a few weeks each year your water stinks.

This doesn’t just happen at Beaver Water but everywhere across our area.

How can you make it taste better?

  • Use a carbon filter.
  • Chill the water
  • Add a lemon

Below is a fact sheet from the Beaver Water District about the taste and odor in the water.

The good news is, it doesn’t last long with both the taste and odor likely disappearing by the end of the month.