May 2021: Wagga Wagga (NSW) – Taste and Odour

Riverina Water report finds Geosmin and MIB responsible for taste issues

May 27 2021

Chemicals in the Murrumbidgee River are responsible for a funny taste and smell in Wagga tap water, according to a report from Riverina Water.

Riverina Water engineering director Bede Spannagle said they detected traces of the compounds Geosmin and 2-Methylisoborneol, but reassured residents that neither was dangerous to human health.

However, Mr Spannagle said the chemical compounds could cause an earthy flavour and odour, especially during the warmer summer months.

“We had some complaints about the water and we did our own investigation, and we also asked WaterNSW to do an investigation into the water issue,” Mr Spannagle said.

“It’s only surface water, about 30 per cent of our supply. It’ll be at certain times of the year, normally when it’s hotter when that grows in the water. Winter or cold or raining dilutes it in the source, so you won’t taste it.”