Water, water everywhere. Several Patch readers have said they don't like the taste of the city's water in Fenton, commenting that it's horrible, has a bad taste, and they try not to even cook with. Another reader said he and his family like the water and fill bottles with it for when they're on the go.
"Taste for water is subjective," said Stephen Guy, the Fenton water treatment plant superintendent. "I've had people say it tastes terrible at their house."
Then they went to city hall and tried the water at the drinking fountain there, saying it was good.
Others have said the water was terrible one week, but told Guy it was OK the next week.
When it comes to water, the goal is no taste, and taste can be affected by what the water travels through before it gets to someone's faucet, he said.
Department of Public Works Director Dan Czarnecki said old pipes or an old hot water heater in a house can affect water's taste. In addition, if there's buildup in the hot water heater that hasn't been cleaned, it can affect water's taste.
"What you want out of water is a non-taste," said Guy.
Some people have older, galvanized plumbing, which tends to corrode more than copper pipes, he said.
"I prefer copper plumbing," he added.
Some people say chlorine changes how water tastes.
"Many complaints are of that nature," Guy said.
Fenton water treatment plant staff do add chlorine to the city's water, but only to the required level, he added. They must add enough chlorine so a certain amount — .2 parts per million — is present at the far ends of the water system.
Chlorine is needed to which is probably the single most important thing the water plant does, he said. Bacteria would have the most immediate impact on people's health.
His goal is to have people drink more water, because it's good for people and it's abundant. A helpful hint to remove chlorine taste in water, is putting it in a jug in the refrigerator to let the chlorine dissipate, Guy said. Or, installing a carbon filter right at the faucet is another idea.
The water in Fenton is treated to remove arsenic as well, per federal guidelines. And the water plant has a precipitation softening system, to remove hardness, including iron, he said. Home water softening systems usually are ion exchange systems that replace hard ions with soft ones. A difference is, at the treatment plant, the hardness ions are taken out of the water.
Fenton's water treatment plant went Online in 2004.