West Columbia, SC (September 12, 2019) – Lake Murray is currently experiencing turnover, a naturally occurring event, which contributes to an increase in natural organic matter. This summer, the region has experienced periods of heavy rain followed by long dry periods with high temperatures. As a result, the water treatment facilities that draw from Lake Murray have been presented with extremely high levels of organic compounds, which can cause an earthy, musty taste, and odor in the water.
The City of West Columbia wants all of its water customers to know that the water supply from the West Columbia Lake Murray Water Treatment facility has been thoroughly tested and meets all South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) standards. The water distributed by the Lake Murray Water Treatment Facility is safe to drink. The issue is an impact on taste and odor, but not a water safety concern.
The City of West Columbia takes all customer concerns seriously and is committed to resolving any concern. The city is ready with additional measures to address the effect of the increased organic compounds serving as a contributing factor of taste and odor in the drinking water and is seeking approval by DHEC to implement those measures. We are committed to providing safe drinking water for all customers and will continue to work diligently to address consumers taste and odor concerns. Of West Columbia’s approximately 14,000 customers, the city has received approximately 35 complaints from its customers regarding taste and odor. We have had discussions with the Town of Lexington and the Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission who also obtain their water from the Lake Murray Water Plant and understand that they have received similar complaints about odor and taste. Information is provided to any customer who has called related to this matter.