Arlington Water Working to Manage Taste Issue with Tap Water
By Traci Peterson, Arlington Water Utilities
Posted on August 11, 2023, August 11, 2023

Person filling a drinking glass with water from the tap.

The extreme heat Texans have been experiencing over the last few weeks is also playing a role in some challenges Arlington Water Utilities is experiencing with the taste of its tap water, Arlington Water Utilities Director Craig Cummings said Friday. He added that the water department is working to address these concerns.

“Arlington Water Utilities treatment plant and water laboratory staff are on the job 24 hours a day making sure your water is safe to drink,” Cummings says. “The extreme heat, abundant sunshine, and lowering water levels in supply reservoirs have caused algae in Lake Arlington to be more abundant. Those algae can release taste and odor compounds, resulting in the musty odor and taste in tap water some residents have noticed. The compounds, released by the algae, are not harmful but can cause a noticeable taste for certain customers. Some possible solutions being considered by Arlington Water Utilities are pulling more of the City’s water from other larger reservoirs that are less affected by this issue. Our treatment operators can also use tools like ozonation to manage taste and odor issues.”

Arlington purchases its raw water for treatment from the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and Arlington has two water treatment plants. Those plants are the Pierce-Burch Water Treatment Plant and the John F. Kubala Water Treatment Plant. During the summer, the operation of both plants is required to meet residents’ needs. On Thursday, for example, the City hit a yearly high for water demand of 97 million gallons of tap water.

The Pierce-Buch plant receives water directly from Lake Arlington, and the John F. Kubala Plant receives water from the much larger Cedar Creek Reservoir and the Richland Chambers Reservoir in East Texas. To improve water quality, the City has also requested that TRWD add additional water to Lake Arlington from a pipeline that runs from the larger reservoirs, Cummings said. The levels in Lake Arlington are currently down 7 feet from the typical level found at the start of summer.

If you have questions about your drinking water, please look at our annual water quality report at You can also contact or lab at 817-575-8984.

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