Complaints pour in over taste and smell of Phoenix tap water

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(SOURCE: 3TV/CBS 5) (SOURCE: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The water fountain outside Phoenix City Hall looks inviting, but you're not supposed to drink from it.

Martha Miller doesn't recommend drinking the city's tap water either.

A couple weeks ago, the Valley grandmother detected something strange.

"I started noticing the water just tasted a little muddy, just not pure," Miller said. "For awhile, I thought this is no big deal, and it's just me, but it's not."

The City of Phoenix has received a number of complaints recently about the smell and taste of its tap water.

The complaints are similar to calls pouring into other Valley cities like Mesa and Tempe.

So what's going on here?

Dennis Porter is assistant director of Phoenix Water Services.

He said the strange taste and smell in the water is the result of algae growth that's developed over the long hot summer in local lakes, where our water supply comes from. He said residents across the Valley are often impacted this time of year.

Porter insisted the water is perfectly safe to drink. 

[CITY OF PHOENIX: Water quality and treatment process]

"When levels get really high like right now in lakes and the canal system, it's just a very difficult compound to remove," Porter explained. "Even with advanced treatment, we can't remove it all, but we can remove a good portion."

According to Porter, there are things that can make the water more appealing. He suggested a water filtration or reverse osmosis system.

The water should be back to normal in a few weeks, Porter said.


Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

Hide bio

  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • Flagstaff neighborhood closed off after storm drops 5 inches of rain

    Flagstaff neighborhood closed off after storm drops 5 inches of rain

    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:51 AM EDT2018-07-19 13:51:06 GMT

    People who live in the area of Brandis Way in Flagstaff weren't able to go home Wednesday night. A 200-year rain event dropped 5 inches of rain in one day, causing floodwater to roll through the streets.

    More >

    People who live in the area of Brandis Way in Flagstaff weren't able to go home Wednesday night. A 200-year rain event dropped 5 inches of rain in one day, causing floodwater to roll through the streets.

    More >
  • Getting a good night's sleep as you get older

    Getting a good night's sleep as you get older

    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:20 AM EDT2018-07-19 13:20:45 GMT
    When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older. (Source: 123rf.com)When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older. (Source: 123rf.com)
    When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older. (Source: 123rf.com)When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older. (Source: 123rf.com)

    When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older.

    More >

    When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older.

    More >
  • McCain shared brain cancer diagnosis one year ago

    McCain shared brain cancer diagnosis one year ago

    Thursday, July 19 2018 5:54 AM EDT2018-07-19 09:54:09 GMT
    Sen. McCain shared the news of his brain cancer diagnosis on July 19, 2017. (Source: CNN)Sen. McCain shared the news of his brain cancer diagnosis on July 19, 2017. (Source: CNN)

    Thursday, July 19 marks one year since Sen. John McCain shared the news of his brain cancer diagnosis. He has not been in seen in public in the last several months. Doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute sat down with us to explain how he might be feeling today.

    More >

    Thursday, July 19 marks one year since Sen. John McCain shared the news of his brain cancer diagnosis. He has not been in seen in public in the last several months. Doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute sat down with us to explain how he might be feeling today.

    More >