A regular outcome of a long, hot summer and the leisurely currents lazing through the State Water Project canals is funny-tasting water, a situation coming out of the taps in Solvang, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Orcutt, and Santa Maria of late. The increase in blue-green algae and resulting musty taste and odor pose no danger to health, assured Matt van der Linden, director of Solvang’s Public Works, and is actually not as bad as it was last year when the algae bloomed in July and August.
The municipalities receive their state water from the Central Coast Water Authority treatment plant near Paso Robles, which has been adding a specialized powdered activated carbon in an attempt to neutralize the 2-methylisoborneol and Geosmin that affect the aesthetics of their product.
Van der Linden said Solvang mixes well and state water, which might lessen some taste and odor problems. Also, the town of about 5,400 saw its water usage drop 35 percent in August, he said, a reduction 10 percent greater than that mandated by the state.