You’re not crazy. The water in Sacramento really does taste like dirt right now.
The culprit is a compound called geosim in the Sacramento and American rivers. It’s produced by blue-green algae blooms somewhere upstream, according to Sacramento Utilities spokeswoman Ellen Martin. The water system’s treatment process removes the algae, which makes the water safe to drink, but it leaves behind geosim, which make the water taste strange, she said. And while it is unpleasant to drink, it’s not harmful.
The algae in this case has not been linked to any toxic blooms in the region, according to Greg Gearheart, with the California Water Board.
The last recorded toxic bloom was found in Folsom Lake on July 18, but the toxin levels were so low that they weren’t a threat and didn’t warrant a posting, he said.
Blue-green algae blooms are common across California this time of year. The high temperatures combined with low water levels create the ideal conditions for algae…
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