Smithville residents annoyed by tap water’s dirty smell, taste - KCTV5

Smithville residents annoyed by tap water’s dirty smell, taste

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(Nathan Vickers/KCTV) (Nathan Vickers/KCTV)
SMITHVILLE, MO (KCTV) -

For the past few weeks, Eric Stumpenhaus' coffee has seemed a little off. He didn't know why until today, however.

“It smells like dirt, tastes like dirt,” Stumpenhaus said.

He's noticed it in his kitchen, his bathroom, and all over town.

“It makes my coffee taste horrible, makes my shower smell like dirt,” he said. “I feel like I'm never getting clean.”

It turns out that he's not alone. Others throughout Smithville have reported similar problems.

On Monday, the city responded to those complaints on Facebook and explained that the odor comes from a combination of high algae levels in Smithville Lake and the result of more water being released from the lake because of heavy rains this summer, which stirs up that algae.

“In the last month and a half or two months, it's gotten worse,” Stumpenhaus noted.

Others on Stumpenhaus' street reported the same problem. So did businesses and restaurants in downtown Smithville.

However, not everyone can tell the difference.

“I don't drink water from the tap very often, but I haven't noticed a difference in the taste when I do,” said Chuck North.

The city said the water is safe to drink and that the taste and odor should disappear as the algae settles.

“It's clear,” Stumpenhaus said. “There's nothing floating in it or anything.”

Stumpenhaus and others in Smithville are used to occasional stretches of bad-tasting water from the reservoir, but they say this one has gone on for too long.

“It gets on your nerves,” Stumpenhaus said. “I know it's not bad for me. The city's told us it's not bad for us. I'll be glad when it gets back to normal.”

He's looking forward to his morning coffee tasting like it should.

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