Brentwood Says “Algae Bloom” is Cause of Altered Taste and Smell of City Water


Over the weekend, several Brentwood residents complained about City of Brentwood water and how it tasted and smelled different than normal.

According to Miki Tsubota, Director of Public Works/City Engineer, there are no health concerns.

“Some City of Brentwood customers are experiencing taste and odor issues resulting from an algae bloom in the City’s source water. Please know that there are no health concerns, but tap water may temporarily smell or taste earthy,” said Tsubota.

Tsubota added that algae blooms affecting Brentwood water smell and taste have occasionally occurred in the past.  These usually occur seasonally after long spells of continuous hot weather.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the City at (925) 516-6000 or by online service request at



  1. My daughter has itchy red bumps on her legs. Others are complaining about the same symptoms. Not sure I’m trusting what we are being told about the safety of drinking it.

    • Taste and odor events are actually pretty common across the country, especially if the source water is warm and can support algae growth. The treatment process kills it and produces an byproduct that effects the aesthetics. Look up the terms geosmin and mib, it may put your mind at ease. These events are usually short lived, the process at most treatment plants can be adjusted to account for it.

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