From The Fort Morgan Times (Jenni Grubbs):
City workers at the Fort Morgan Water Treatment Plant have identified the source of an earthy odor and sometimes taste in city water that had been reported by residents over the last year.
Now, the workers are seeking to eliminate the cause of the odor, which was due to a treatment process to kill and remove naturally occurring, nontoxic bacteria called actinomycetes, according to City Clerk/Public Information Officer John Brennan.
“It is actually the destruction of these bacteria during the water treatment process, not the bacteria themselves, that can cause a musty odor that is noticeable to some people in the finished water that comes out of their faucets,” Brennan stated.
Actinomycetes are a large group of bacteria that are responsible for the characteristically “earthy” smell of freshly turned, healthy soil, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture…
Modifications are being made to the treatment process to help get rid of this odor. “Some of the chemicals used in treatment can intensify the odors that result from destruction of the bacteria,” Brennan stated. “Other treatment options are being investigated that are not currently used in the process.”
City residents reported earthy odors and organic smells and tastes in city water as far back as late summer 2011.