GLWA says odor, smell in water from treatment plant

The Great Lakes Water Authority is hoping to clear the air about a foul odor in the drinking water in Downriver communities.

Residents have complained for the past week that the water has had a foul smell and questionable taste. Oofficials maintaining the water was never a danger to drink.

"The water has been safe to drink 100% of the time," CEO of Great Lakes Water Authority Sue McCormick said.

McCormick says it likely came from an issue inside the Allen Park water treatment plant but the specific material which caused an odor may never be found.

"Given that we know there was a presence of something in the sulfite family, it was below the detection limit and wasn't a health offense issue," McCormick said.

The GLWA showed how the water is processed: first it comes in from the river, then goes to a sedimentation phase where water is separated from the sediment.

That's where GLWA says the problem originated - during a twice annual routine cleaning of the particles at the bottom that started on January 7th.

Water Authority officials say they received their first complaint January 11th, and stopped the basin cleaning January 12th. They contacted MDEQ the next day to also investigate. Some tests are still pending, but all tests so far have come back all clear.

Some people Downriver are still on edge especially after what happened in Flint. Governor Rick Snyder and congresswoman Debbie Dingell also wrote letters of concern to the GLWA.

"It's good not to take a chance. I went to Meijer, I bought like ten cases of water, and we stopped drinking out of the house water," Southgate resident Mathem Almajedi said.

Animal advocates still believe at least a dozen pets were sickened with bacterial infections while the water had the mysterious odor. A few people also make that claim.

GLWA officials say they will remain transparent moving forward as they look for ways to prevent the mishap from happening again. 


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