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Santa Maria water supply affected by harmless algae that may affect odor, taste
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Santa Maria water supply affected by harmless algae that may affect odor, taste

Santa Maria residents may notice an "earthy" or "musty" odor or taste to their drinking water due to harmless algae compounds present in the state's water supply, city spokesman Mark van de Kamp announced Monday. 

The Central Coast Water Authority notified the city that recent high temperatures have created conditions perfect for the growth of the algae in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, affecting the supply of the State Water Project, van de Kamp said. 

While the algae compounds affect the odor and taste of the water, which can be improved by chilling or adding citrus to the water, it is completely safe for drinking, he said. 

"The city’s water supply remains safe for consumption and use. Customers may have various levels of sensitivity to the taste and odor imparted by the harmless algae," van de Kamp said. 

The Central Coast Water Authority is working to reduce the presence of algae compounds and their impact on the water supply, with the city also monitoring the situation, he added. 

"The city will also make operational changes as necessary to reduce the impact to the city’s water system and continue to monitor water quality to meet all federal and state drinking water standards," van de Kamp said. 


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The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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