• Gainesville residents complain their water smells, tastes funny

    By: Berndt Petersen


    HALL COUNTY, Ga. - Some people who live in Hall County say there's something in the drinking water. They don't like how it smells or tastes straight out of the faucet. 

    Some Gainesville residents said they haven't noticed it at all but others are sticking to bottled water until the city fixes the problem.

    “She says it was like dirt. But, no. I haven't given it a whiff,” said resident Jo Ann Manring.

    Officials said there's something in the water.

    “Yes. I have tasted it and smelled it. What we are hearing from our customers is that different people have different sensitivities to it,” said Gainesville Water Resources Director Linda MacGregor.


    MacGregor said the source of the city's drinking water is Lake Lanier.

    The city treats 20 million gallons of water every day but, since November, the water has had an earthy or musty taste. Officials said that happens when the warmer water at the top of the lake mixes with the cooler water at the bottom, taking the algae along with it. 

    While officials insist the water remains safe to drink, the city is taking extra steps to treat and filter it so it will taste better. 

    “Well, they said it was safe. So, that's why I haven't worried about it. And I drink a lot of water," said resident Beverly Nordholz. 

    To treat it, officials said before the water is pumped to the treatment plant, the city is mixing in bags of activated carbon.  

    It's a black powder that naturally filters the water, which officials say will remove the odor and restore the great taste.

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