Austin Water officials are crediting smelly water in Austin, Texas, to zebra mussels on a raw water pipeline located at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant, according to the Statesman.
The pipeline reopened on Wednesday after being closed for two weeks for construction. The Statesman reported that Rick Coronado, Austin Water's assistant director for operations, said some of the zebra mussels could have died during the work on the pipeline, causing decay and potential compounds being released into the water.
USA Today reported some customers were complaining about the smell.
According to USA Today, South Austin resident Kathryn Araguz told Austin's Fox 7 the smell was like "raw meat" and that after taking a shower on Thursday morning, she "smelled for quite a while" afterward.
The Statesman reported that water officials assured customers the water was safe to drink.
"We still meet all the drinking water standards," Coronado told the Statesman. "There’s no indication the water isn’t safe."
This isn't the first time zebra mussels have found their way to Texas city water. The Statesman reported in September 2018 of another account when zebra mussels were found stuck to filtering screens in the intake pipes on Lake Travis.Comment on this story
Currently, Austin Water has implemented powdered activated carbon into the water supply to help with the smell, according to the Statesman.
USA Today said Austin Water customers should notice a difference in smell within 24 hours.
Further efforts to reduce or eliminate the zebra mussels are underway.
"We have a consultant we’re working with to identify ways to mitigate zebra mussels," Coronado told the Statesman. "We’ll be looking at other tools and other chemicals to either slow their growth or remove the zebra mussels."