DRINKING WATER NOTICE: Clarion Area Taste and Odor Condition


The Clarion River is Pennsylvania American Water’s primary source of supply for its Clarion customers. Algae growth is occurring in the river, which is causing drinking water to have an earthy smell or musty taste.

Although the algae is giving off an odd but harmless taste or odor, the company’s drinking water meets all DEP and EPA drinking water standards, and the current condition does not constitute a health threat.

Algae blooms, a natural phenomenon, are often seasonal and can occur due to a variety of reasons, including a change in the weather conditions (typically hot weather), a lack of rain, and high levels of nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) in the watershed runoff.

When these conditions exist, it can result in drinking water tasting or smelling earthy or musty. We take the quality of your water seriously, and we will continue to monitor water quality throughout our treatment process and within our water distribution system.

What types of algae cause taste and odor issues?

Two common nontoxic byproducts of algae that produce the earthy taste and odor-causing compounds are MIB (Methyl Iso-Borneol) and geosmin.

Is the water safe to drink?

Yes. The compounds creating taste and odor issues resulting from MIB and geosmin algae blooms do not pose a risk to human health. Drinking water continues to meet all federal and state drinking water regulations.

What is the company doing to treat the bloom?

Carbon is used during the normal treatment process to absorb odors from the raw river water. In response to the current algal events, we have increased carbon use to assist in combatting this condition. Carbon is removed during the later stages of the treatment process, and the water is delivered to customers with less taste and/or odor.

Will the taste and odor problem continue or recur?

We cannot guarantee that the taste and odor-causing compounds will not recur. A sweltering and dry summer and the presence of nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen) in the watershed runoff are critical factors in promoting algae blooms and cause extremely high taste and odor-causing compounds.




Location: Clarion County
Issued: 6/3/2020
Start Time: 4:30 PM
End Time: 12:00 am
Expires: 7/30/20
Contact Name: Pennsylvania American Water Customer Service
Contact Phone: 18005657292
Posted in: Other