FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Has your tap water been tasting fishy lately? Swampy, even?

Many Fort Wayne residents have been noticing an odd taste in the water recently, and the website for Fort Wayne’s City Utilities addresses the issue.

The different taste is brought on by the change in seasons, City Utilities explained, and the team is adjusting the treatment processes to help. The adjustments may not completely remove the taste- described as earthy or organic- but it’s not dangerous, according to City Utilities.

Our water supply comes from the St. Joe River. Periodically, changing weather or compound changes to the river can cause a difference in the smell and taste of our water. We are currently experiencing a change in taste because of this seasonal change. While these changes are unpleasant, they are not dangerous, and the water is safe to drink.  We are adjusting our treatment processes to help, but these modifications will not completely eliminate the ‘earthy/organic’ taste.

Fort Wayne City Utilities

This graph shows the current conditions, based on testing done within the last two days:

Fort Wayne City Utilities provides a graphic with the current water conditions
As many residents wonder why the water tastes different lately, City Utilities provides a graphic with the current water conditions.

As of Tuesday, the water conditions are described as tasting organic, on a scale that runs from clear to unpleasant. Changes are common for the water’s smell and taste, City Utilities said. You can refer to the graph online daily to see if the condition changes.

WANE 15 spoke with Frank Suarez from Fort Wayne City Utilities on Tuesday. Suarez further explained the seasonal change and what it will take to get back to clear water.

He said they made the switch to classify the water as organic on Monday, May 15 after noticing some changes in the water that weekend.

While they’ve done several treatments to the water, Suarez said adjustments at the plant won’t solve the problem completely.

Because there were drastic temperature changes in April that affected runoffs and not a lot of rain in May, the river’s water levels are low and the water flow isn’t as strong.

Suarez explained that when river levels are low, whatever is at the bottom can creep up to the top.

He reiterated that the water is not harmful or dangerous in any way.

“It is safe, and our chemists have been on top of things from day one,” Suarez said. “We conduct over 50,000 tests a day with the automation tests that we do every second of the day plus what the chemists are doing through their analytical chemistry.”

The seasonal change in water usually happens in the spring and fall. It can last a half a day or several weeks, according to Suarez. One such example is when the city of Fort Wayne had organic water for several weeks in 2016.

The solution to the problem includes some patience and some help from Mother Nature.

Fort Wayne City Utilities has to wait for the more organic water to make its way through the filtration plant before anything can be done. Rain would help that process.

Once the water has moved through, they can then flush the organic water out of the delivery system through fire hydrants to get clear water to customers quicker.

In the meantime, they’ll keep checking the water constantly.

“We’re going to continue to adjust treatment to see what we can do there, but until it passes through the plant, we really can’t get it out of the system completely. There have been changes, even within the past few days, where some days it’s a little bit better than others. So, we’re going to continue to work on that and see what we can do,” Suarez said.

“We’re not alone,” he added.

Suarez noted that other cities around the country are dealing with similar water quality as their river levels have dropped.

Check out the website for City Utilities to learn more.