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Complaints come in about what comes out of Dickinson's faucets; water smelly, but safe

Over the past few days, Dickinson officials have been hearing complaints about smelly water that tastes bad. Many say it's fish-like and musty.

Those in charge of keeping clean water in Dickinson say not to worry, it's safe and they are working on fixing the problem.

"The city has fielded about four dozen complaint calls," Commissioner Klayton Oltmanns said. "After about the first five calls, Southwest Water Authority was contacted as they are the water suppliers and we were assured the water is safe."

The location of the complaints has been sporadic, he added. "And not all residents are experiencing the smell or taste."

Southwest Water Authority CEO and General Manager Mary Massad said Southwest Water Authority's water is, always has been and continues to be safe.

"This is not a sign of any type of water quality issue," Massad said.

Southwest Water Authority is treating the water to fix the problem.

"It may take one to two weeks to displace the water currently in the pipelines and reservoirs which will clear up the taste and odor," Massad said.

Complaints are normal this time of year because there is more vegetation and fish in Lake Sakakawea, the source of water for the Southwest Pipeline, Massad said.

"When the water gets warmer and they start to decompose it causes an odor and even with treatment sometimes that odor lingers so we use a different chemical to get rid of the odor," she said.

Massad said the lake does a turnover two or three times per year.