Dodgy drinking water in Richland has people smelling mold

Dodgy drinking water in Richland has people smelling mold
RICHLAND, Wash. -- If you live in Richland, you might just want to avoid your tap water.

You called and told us it had a moldy smell and taste. The city agrees as well.

So the big question is what's the deal..and how long will the after-taste linger.

"I don't want them to eat or drink anything that's not good for them."

When Sarah Crowner turned on the tap and found some foul smelling water coming out of the faucet, she got a little worried.

"It's moldy! It smells moldy and tastes kind of moldy, so I'm like, what's this? I drink a lot of water so, so definitely noticed it," she says.

Richland has received a handful of complaints from other people too.

They're not denying it.

"The taste and odor is in the water--and there's not much we can do about it," says John Finch.

He manages Richland's water.

He says a quick change in temperature caused water from Columbia River to turn over. Which means water that's normally near the bottom--ends up coming through the treatment system.

City officials say normally when cooler temperatures alter the tasted of the water taken from the river, they normally just switch over to the well fields, but since those fields are being worked on, citizens of Richland are stuck with water from the river, which, while safe to drink, might not taste they're used to.

"Is Richland's water safe to drink?" we asked Finch.

"Oh absolutely. Everything is tested for. All of our testing and monitoring is the same as usual, you've just got that taste and odor component in it," he says.

Finch says once the weather cools down, the moldy tasting water in the system currently will be flushed out. But Sarah isn't taking any chances with her kids.

"I haven't been letting her take take baths because it make me nervous. I'm like, I don't want her swimming in this," Sarah says.

Officials say it will be about two weeks before Richland's water will taste normal.

In the mean time you can curb the moldy taste by using a water filter or by putting a jug of water in the fridge.