If the water from your tap tastes or smells different, there is a reason

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- You may notice some changes in the taste or odor of the water coming from your tap. That's because Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) is temporarily turning off its ozone system at the northside Linnwood Water Treatment Plant -- so improvements at the plant can be made.

If you live north of State Street and you're a Milwaukee Water Works customer, this pertains to you.

According to the MWW website, "We are installing valves upstream of the ozone process to facilitate different water flow paths through the treatment process. This will increase the flexibility in operating the plant and add a layer of redundancy, to the benefit of all customers. Ozone must be turned off so workers can install these valves. Ozone treatment at the Linnwood Water Treatment Plant is expected to resume within 12 weeks."

"We`re creating  other means to re-route the water through the different barriers that we have as we treat the raw water," Korban said.

The Linnwood Water Treatment Plant pumps water to areas north of State Street, and provides water to about 400,000 customers.

IMPORTANT: The tap water from the Linnwood Treatment Plant is safe to drink and use during the changeover. Milwaukee’s drinking water will remain in full compliance with EPA and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) clean water requirements at all times.

"I`m gonna start off by saying that the city of Milwaukee water is very, very safe," Milwaukee DPW Commissioner Ghassan Korban said.

So what might you notice when it comes to your water?

"Probably just a little musty. Just think of if you`re swimming in a lake with some algae around you," Korban said.

Korban says customers might not notice anything because of the timing of the work. With Lake Michigan temperatures near 50 degrees or lower, there is limited plant growth to give off the fishy or musty smell or taste.

The ozonation process that will be temporarily shut down provides an added barrier against illness-causing organisms and harmful contaminants such as cryptosporidium -- another reason for the timing of the work.

"We know that historically that crypto, if it is to appear, it appears earlier in the spring partly due to a lot of storm runoff and it never showed up this time of year," Korban said.

Both ozone and chlorine disinfection will remain in use at the south side Howard Avenue Water Treatment Plant.

For more information, visit milwaukee.gov/water or call Milwaukee Water Works at 414-286-2830.