Broken Arrow Hires Consultant To Inspect Smelly Water

Tuesday, May 14th 2019, 4:49 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

A smelly and sometimes unpleasant issue in Broken Arrow is about to get a whole lot of attention.

The city hired a consultant to identify and help fix why the water in the town sometimes has a smell and funny taste.

"We want to make a great decision and invest wisely in the best technology to fix the problem," said Charles Vokes, Utilities Director for the City of Broken Arrow.

Vokes says the consultant will start in June, testing samples in different seasons, and suggesting solutions. Vokes says the water is completely safe to drink, but byproducts of seasonal algae in the Verdigris River, which is the city's water source, increases certain times of the year.

"It is a complicated problem because these compounds, we're very, very sensitive to them,” Vokes said. “So we can detect down to the parts per trillion level, really, really low levels."

Last August, the city heard many of these complaints. At the time, a restaurant in town told us, they started using water bottles because of the taste.

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"It did have a smell but it wasn't a real big smell,” said Crystal Gipson with Duffy’s Restaurant. “You know it wasn't a bad smell. But it was the taste. It was awful. It was bad."

So Vokes says they hope to completely eliminate the problem. Once the consultant comes back with their results, they'll determine the best plan of action going forward.

"We in Broken Arrow strive to be excellent in everything we do and so that needs to apply to the drinking water quality too," Vokes said.