REPORTS of blue green algae and complaints about bad tasting and smelly water have left a funky taste in the mouth of Tamworth's town water drinkers.
But, after a look inside Tamworth's water treatment plant, the Leader has the flow on exactly what went wrong and what happened to the water.
In a statement the council said blue algae in the water had caused it to taste and smell dirty, however it was safe to drink, and carbon was being pumped into the water to remove the taste and odour.
During a tour of the Calala Water Treatment Facility on February 6, 2024, council's manager of water and environmental operations Dan Coe said the difference in taste was caused by recent hot weather.
He said due to the increase in temperatures, there had been a rapid growth of blue green algae in the storage dam located at the treatment plant where water from Chaffey Dam, the Peel River, and Dungowan Dam is held.
Mr Coe said plant operators had increased the amount of carbon being pumped into the water to remove the taste and smell once the staff became aware of the aesthetic issue.
"The carbon we add removes any of those issues," he said.
"The treatment process, particularly through chlorination will destroy or remove any toxins produced by blue green algae."
Residents reported different reactions to the change in water, with some people not able to taste a difference at all.
Mr Coe said this was because different people have different sensitivities to the algae products.
He said the plant has a blue green algae management plan in place, which did not require health authorities to be notified about the rapid increase.
"If we need to escalate it, we would escalate it," Mr Coe said.
Staff monitor algae on a weekly basis at the plant, carry out visual inspections, and conduct their own taste and odour testing.
With more carbon being pumped into the water now, residents in South, East, and North Tamworth should have already noticed the taste and smell improving, and water in Kootingal and Moonbi should return to normal in the coming days.
On an average day, Tamworth uses about 40 megalitres of water, which is about 16 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The water is pumped predominately from Chaffey Dam and the Peel River, with Dungowan Dam and a well field on Scott Road also used as a supply.
Mr Coe said once the water gets to the plant it goes through a "coagulation process" to remove dirty settlement from the water.
The water is then filtered, and chlorine and fluoride is added.
Mr Coe said the drinkable water is pumped to One Tree Hill in South Tamworth, and Victoria Park in East Tamworth before it is supplied to the city.