Bartlesville Residents Complain Of Bad Tasting, Foul Smelling Water

Thursday, August 9th 2012, 6:46 pm
By: News On 6

Residents say a tall glass of water is anything but refreshing in Bartlesville right now.

Since Saturday, the city has been dealing with dozens of daily complaints that its tap water tastes and smells bad.

The city said the water is safe to drink, but residents say that's tough to swallow.

At Murphy's Steakhouse, and everywhere else in Bartlesville, you'd think there's something in the water.

Frances Birdsong said she has made that explanation part of her greeting at each new table.

"It smells like mud, so when I set down a glass of tea, then they say, ‘Can I have something else?' So, I got where I just ask, I tell them, ‘It's okay, but it tastes nasty,'" Birdsong said.

Josh King said he likens the taste to dirt or rust.

"If you get your lemonades and your sweet teas, I would kind of stay away from it for a little bit until they get it all figured out," King said.

According to the city of Bartlesville, the taste is just a nuisance and not a health hazard.

Water Plant Superintendent RJ Jinkens said the problem is not the water treatment plant.

"Bacterialogically, the water is safe. We run 40 analyses a month," Jinkens said.

Bartlesville gets water from Hudson Lake.

Jinkens said the excessive heat has warmed up the water and killed off algae, which releases a bad odor and flavor when it dies.

The water is still safe to drink and the city said it's doing all it can to make it taste better.

"As soon as we get some rain and we get some cooler temperatures, this should clear up fairly quickly," Jinkens said.

Meanwhile, Murphy's is actually benefiting from the funky water.

"It's hard to drink something when it smells like dirt coming out of a faucet," Birdsong said.

Meanwhile, the restaurant has doubled its sales of soft drinks.

Bartlesville also provides water to Dewey and several other towns.

Aside from Bartlesville, we've also received comments about bad tasting water in Stillwater and Vinita.