The U.S. Geological Survey and Spartanburg Water are working cooperatively on an ongoing study of Lake Bowen and Reservoir #1 to identify environmental factors that enhance or influence the production of geosmin in the source-water reservoirs. Spartanburg Water is using information from this study to develop management strategies to reduce (short-term solution) and prevent (long-term solution) geosmin occurrence. Spartanburg Water utility treats and distributes drinking water to the Spartanburg area of South Carolina. The drinking water sources for the area are Lake William C. Bowen (Lake Bowen) and Municipal Reservoir #1 (Reservoir #1), located north of Spartanburg. These reservoirs, which were formed by the impoundment of the South Pacolet River, were assessed in 2006 by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) as being fully supportive of all uses based on established criteria. Nonetheless, Spartanburg Water had noted periodic taste and odor problems due to the presence of geosmin, a naturally occurring compound in the source water. Geosmin is not harmful, but its presence in drinking water is aesthetically unpleasant.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Taste and odor occurrence in Lake William C. Bowen and Municipal Reservoir #1, Spartanburg County, South Carolina