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City of Columbus Attempts to Treat Smelly Water

COLUMBUS (Jen French) -- The City of Columbus is spending an extra $10,000 a day to treat the city's water following complaints of it smelling and tasting foul.

The city says the water is safe to drink, but is employing additional filtering tactics to eliminate the odor since November.

Columbus water now has five times the amount of carbon needed to filter the water at the Hoover Dam, city spokesperson Laura Young Moore said.

She said the stench comes from algae, which is caused by agricultural and residential chemical runoff.
Department of Utilities spokesperson George Zonders said the city is paying double the amount to filter water for half a million consumers. Despite the extra expense, he said residents should not notice much of a difference on their bills.

Since mid-November, the Department of Utilities has gotten more than 1,000 complaints about the water's odor.
North Columbus resident Shirley Smith said her family has dealt with unpleasant water since October. To cope, she has been drinking and washing her teeth with bottled water.

Friday was the first day Smith said the smell started to disappear.

The city reported that it could stop using the extra carbon when the stench disappears. Zonders said the upcoming cold snap could expedite the algae-killing process.

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