Taste & Odor Study

Photo of an area from the KS Watershed StudyPurpose

The Kansas River is a water supply source for the cities of Manhattan, Topeka, Lawrence, Olathe and Water One in Johnson County. The river periodically experiences taste-and-odor episodes that may be caused by cyanobacteria in upstream reservoirs or from run-off events. This study’s objective is to provide an advanced real-time notification system to alert managers along the Kansas River of changing water-quality conditions that may affect treatment processes or cause taste-and-odor or algal toxin events.

History

During the late summer and early fall of 2011, due to hot and dry conditions, Milford Reservoir experienced a harmful algal bloom and several utilities along the Kansas River detected microcystin (a toxin produced by cyanobacteria) in the raw water. A workgroup formed and developed a proposal to work with United States Geological Survey (USGS) to collect real-time water quality data along the river; identify the source, fate and transport of taste-and-odor compounds; and develop statistical relationships to identify factors that may cause a change in water quality.

Timeline

KWO partnered with USGS, WaterOne, and the cities of Lawrence, Olathe and Topeka to cost-share a four-year study which started in July of 2012.

Current Updates

It is currently in the final year of the five year study.

Funding

For the five year study, KWO committed to $40,000 per year. Total 5 year cost is $835,000 and public water supply systems share $635,000.

Project Manager

Kirk Tjelmeland

KWO Office
900 SW Jackson Street
Suite 404
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Phone: 785-296-3185
Fax: 785-296-0878
Toll Free: 1-888-526-9283
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