Lugoff-Elgin Water Plant



October 4, 2015: Washout on Pine Grove Road takes water main with it. Service now restored. 

1. Why does my water taste and smell like dirt at some times of the year?

ANSWER: Blue-green algae thrive when the weather is hot and Lake Wateree (our source water) does not have much movement. The blue-green algae produce a chemical called 2 methylisoborneol. We call it MIB for short. This chemical gives the water that dirt taste and odor. The chemical IS NOT harmful and the water is SAFEto drink. Studies show that some people are extremely sensitive to MIB. Sudies also show that up to 30% of the population can only detect MIB in very high concentrations.


2. What is LEWA doing to combat this problem?


ANSWER: LEWA adds Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) to the water all summer to combat occasional taste and odor problems. We increase the amount PAC and add another chemical called EarthTec when we notice problems.


3. How does LEWA know when there is a taste or odor problem?


ANSWER: Sometimes we can smell MIB in the lake. Mostly we rely on our customers and those of us on staff who are on the system to alert us of any problem.


4. What can customers do to combat the MIB problem?


ANSWER: Carbon filters are the best way to reduce the effects of MIB in household water. Most new refrigerators equipped with water dispensers have a carbon filter. There are other commercially available filters that can be purchased at hardware and houseware stores.


5. When can we expect the MIB problem to run its course?


ANSWER: We need cooler weather and increased rainfall. The temperature decrease will reduce the algae growth. Greater rainfall will allow more water to flow into and out of the lake and help flush the MIB out of our source water.