Do you notice that your tap water is a different flavor when summer hits? Well, the City of Grand Rapids took to social media to explain why your water might taste different this time of year.

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In the post, the city explains that they source water from Lake Michigan for tap water, as such, fluctuations and heat in the summer months can cause algae blooms:

Flavor fluctuations are common across municipalities that pull from natural bodies of water. We source our water from Lake Michigan. In the summer, the lake often experiences algae blooms. This can affect the flavor of the water. To respond to this change, we adjust our treatment process by adding activated carbon. The carbon helps to reduce unwanted tastes and odors. The process of adding carbon itself can change the taste and odor of the water. People's sense of taste and smell differ, so some people may notice changes while others may not.

Although the water may taste different depending on the time of year, the city says they take samples and test the water throughout the system. So even if your water has an 'earthy' or 'musty' smell, you can be sure that the water is still safe to drink.

If you think there is an issue with your water quality, you can contact the city with any concerns by calling 311 or 616.456.300 or email us at

To review the 2020 water quality report for Grand Rapids, you can follow the links below:

ENGLISH VERSION - 2020 Water Quality Report(PDF, 676KB)
SPANISH VERSION - Informe de calidad del agua del año 2020(PDF, 1MB)

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