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Officials Say Water is Safe Despite Color, Odor and Taste

Officials Say Water is Safe Despite Color, Odor and Taste

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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DRAPER, Utah (AP) -- Draper's water has acquired an odd color, odor and taste since the heavy rains began last week, but health officials say it still is safe to drink.

"It's kind of like a leaf tea," said David Gardner, development manager for Draper Irrigation Co., which serves nearly two-thirds of the city.

He said the coloration problem occurs in the fall when heavy storm water soaks through leaves before entering the drinking water system.

"It was so dry, then we had a sudden storm. Everything hit just right," he said. "It's usually just a one- or two-day problem."

City Manager Eric Keck said a handful of residents have called to complain since late last week. The city is referring people to the water company.

A number of restaurant owners have received complaints from customers.

"Even if it's safe, I don't think my customers enjoy drinking something in this environment that doesn't taste good," said Lynn McDonald, owner of the Treehouse Athletic Club, who has doubled her bottled-water supply to serve free to the club's 4,000 members.

"It kind of affects my business," said Nate Hoyal, manager of Magleby's Restaurant. "I'm running out of bottles and I can't keep the cooler stocked fast enough."

A sign on Magleby's drink machine recommends customers select bottled drinks or fresh squeezed orange juice.

Kevin Brown, director of the Utah Division of Drinking Water, confirmed there is no health concern.

"It's an aesthetic thing," he says, adding that chlorination properly cleanses the water.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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