Organic compounds detected in water supply

Date published: 3 November 2021

Council is currently detecting low concentrations of two harmless, naturally-occurring organic compounds in some parts of the water network across Townsville, which may give the water an earthy taste and odour.

The compounds, Methylisoborneol (MIB) and Geosmin, are produced by natural occurring algae and bacteria in source waters especially in tropical areas and can be detected at very low concentrations by humans.

These compounds have no health effects, and the water is safe to drink and use for all normal purposes.

Council’s water treatment processes are working normally, however MIB and Geosmin cannot be removed from water using routine treatment processes.

Rigorous water treatment processes and water quality testing ensures Council continues to meet all Australian regulatory guidelines and standards for water quality.

When Geosmin and MIB levels are noticeable, residents can add lemon juice and chill water in the refrigerator to improve taste and remove odour.

For more information, visit Townsville Water Updates.