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Algae growing in Rio Grande due to heat causes El Paso drinking water to smell bad

EL PASO, Texas -- The near record breaking heat wave has been impacting tens of thousands of people across the Borderland including utility companies like El Paso Water.

Some El Paso Water customers said their drinking water has been smelling bad and the utility said the triple-digit heat is to blame.

The utility company said during the summer, water from the Rio Grande is filtered out for their customers - but algae has been growing in the river because of the heat.

“When the sun light is so intense it breaks through that water and the algae tends to grow a little more," said Angel Bustamante, drinking water operator with El Paso Water. The algae has cause the water to taste and smell slightly different.

“We have to take the time to adjust (the water) treatment," Bustamante said. "We have to start adding powered activated carbon and slow down the organic loading in their filters.” 

El Paso Water said the water is completely safe to drink and wants to reassure customers they're doing their best to make sure their customers "receive safe, portable and palatable drinking water.” 

Anyone with concerns or problems is asked by El Paso Water to call their customer service number: (915) 594-5500.

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.



  1. ole loser trump finally wore a mask and found the benefits of wearing a mask during his last white hoorahs. “hey melania, the place didnt stink too bad tonight” Meanwhile the lap dog pence is playing Loteria with Barron.

      1. We quit using city water for drinking and food when they announced that they were recycling sewage water into drinking water. We use a water service.

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