Adrian leaders, residents talk solutions to tap water concerns

ADRIAN, Mich. (WTVG) - From the taste to the smell, people in Adrian are fed up with the condition of their tap water.

"It's like a metallic aftertaste," Adrian resident Pat Hartmann said. "Once you swallow it it's just there and you can't seem to get rid of it."

"You can smell it from your tap," Adrian resident Kyle O'Connor added. "You can smell it if you drive down Riverside Avenue where the lake is at."

For nearly 70 years now city leaders say they've gotten complaints from customers about the water.

"We should be taking care of our own water as a city," Adrian resident Joaquin Ramos said. "That's one of the most important things we should be taking care of."

After years of trying to nail down a cause leaders recently commissioned a study on the issue, and Monday they talked potential fixes.

"There's a public perception that when it tastes or smells funny that it's not safe," Adrian Mayor Chuck Jacobson said. "So we want to make sure that we dispel that."

The city gets its supply from Lake Adrian along with ground water using a well system. Sampling results recently found that algae by-products are likely to blame for the poor taste and smell.

"It's always in the summer because that's usually when the algae blooms come and the taste and odor issues develop," Jacobson said.

Based on the new study's recommendations, short term solutions range from upping chemical treatments to using sonic buoys to prevent algae growth in the lake. Long term fixes, however, call for a major overhaul to treatment equipment and that would likely mean higher utility rates.

With many customers voluntarily relying on bottled water they say they just want something done to fix the problem.

"It's a hassle and it's expensive, and I just wish we had water we could drink," Hartmann said.

Adrian's mayor tells 13abc he hopes the city will have a permanent solution to the taste and smell problem within two years. He's hopeful it will come in the form of a new reverse osmosis system being installed in the city's water treatment plant.