City of Tempe stresses safety of water, despite change in taste


If you’ve been noting a “musty” or dirt like taste in your water over the last few days you’re not alone.

The City of Tempe released a statement Monday saying because of run off from the Sun Flower Fire, and muddy runoff from heavy storms that are expected, the city is temporarily adjusting how they treat water that goes through to homes in Tempe.

Tempe typically uses powder activated carbon to treat its water and absorb the “earthy” tastes that you may now be noticing. The Sunflower Fire in May burned more than 16,000 acres in the Tonto National Forest northeast of the Valley – mostly within the upper drainage area of Sycamore Creek.

Runoff from the creek enters the Verde River and eventually the Salt River Project canal system that supplies water to Tempe’s two water treatment plants. The difference in taste comes from an algae that is usually absorbed by the carbon treatment, but is harmless to the human body.

They expect the carbon treatment method to be shut down for at least another week, due to heavy storms in the forecast. Expect your water to return to its normal taste by the end of next week.

The City of Tempe stresses that their drinking water continues to meet all Safe Drinking Water Act requirements and is absolutely safe to drink.



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