East Bay residents notice change in water smell, taste

ORINDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Water customers in the East Bay have noticed it already, a change in the way their water tastes or smells. The East bay Utility Municipality District is asking for the public's patience while they complete a major upgrade to their largest treatment facility.

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"This is really the heart of the plant," said Camo Pablo. "Where the water gets treated."

It's also the heart of the East Bay MUD's entire supply system. The Orinda water treatment plant dates back to the Great Depression and serves 800,0090 of its 1.4 million customers.

Now it's getting a major upgrade, a $22 million undertaking that's expected to be completed in just six months.

"We're adding a bifurcation vault with a valve that will allow us to split the plant flow in half," said Project Manager Serge Terent. "What that will do, is that will allow us to maintain the plat, without doing a full shutdown of the plant."

The project will also include a new power substation that could keep the plant running in the case of a major power outage or an earthquake.

While the work is being done, East Bay MUD customers west of the hills in Oakland and other cities will be getting their water from other treatment plants like Lafayette and San Pablo.

"So they may not notice anything. If they do, they might notice slight change in the taste of their water, only because it's being treated at a different location," said Andrea Pook, East Bay Mud spokesperson.

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Customers should notice no changes in water pressure. The renovation of the Orinda plant is expected to be completed by next April.
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