What's Wrong With the Water In Orlando?
Stories of Water Treatment
If the taste and smell of the tap water in Orlando Florida is bad, my first notion is that this is the fault of the water treatment system. The cleanest, freshest water I have seen outside of a clear mountain spring is that begin in California during the 1990s, as shown in a television documentary.
In this Californian water treatment plant, chemicals and machines were replaced by plants and a long system of roots through which the waste waters flowed. The plants standing in the waters flowing through their roots lived from the nutrients still within the passing water. It was a rt of greenhouse affair as well, with much light allowed through to the plants for chlorophyll development. At the end of the channel of flowing water and roots, the resulting clean water was pure, without having had to use chemicals.
If the taste and smell of the tap water in Orlando Florida is bad, my first notion is that this is the fault of the water treatment system.
A Wide, Shallow, Slow-Moving River
Interestingly, Central and Southern Florida is covered by a 6" deep shallow river about 500 miles wide, originating up around Orlando and flowing southward slowly through the Everglades and out to the ocean.
This river is called a river of grass, because it is often filled with grasses throughout its coverage. The wide marsh-river slows through the greenery of the plants, rather than the root systems, and is likely not filtered enough for drinking and cooking water. This is where Floridian water treatment plants come in to play.
The Wide River of Grass, Always Moving
The 500-mile-wide river that eventually flows into the Everglades is not stagnant or standing swamp water. It is moving water and is not the water that is the drinking water for towns and cities in Florida.
Water for drinking in Orlando is filtered in several stages by city water treatment facilities.
What is in Orlando Water?
Orlando is home to numerous water treatment companies that advertise making Orlando city water more drinkable, clean, and pure; thus, there must be a market for their services and some residents must not like the taste of the local water.
The City of Orlando itself features three waste water treatment plants, through which the city reports 36,000,000 gallons of industrial and home-use waste water passing per day.
Officials also indicate that pre-treatment is required of much of the industrial waste water. This may suggest heavy loads of pollutants or toxins in the water. At the same time, they indicate that bacteria and other microorganisms are used to clean the waste waters.
Next, the water is treated with chlorine and called "reclaimed water" that you can use for watering the lawn but not for drinking. Some of this water is filtered through sand and sent to drinking water reserves.
All the water from one of the three water treatment plants, the Iron Bridge plant, is used to maintain a wetlands in Orlando. The area even hosts a Wetlands Festival in this park every year.
At this point in the water treatment process, there may be some elements still in the water that produce bad tastes and bad smells. In Ohio, well water is affected this way by the content of either iron or sulfur.
Opinions of Residents
Residents of Orlando in Central Florida have expressed several opinions about the drinking water in the area and posted on forums answering questions about water for travelers.
Some say that they believe Disney World® activities affect the local water supply by inadvertently dumping water containing chemicals or elements not filtered out by the several bacterial and sand stages used in city water treatment. This would leave tastes and smells, hopefully not harmful to humans.
Other Orlando area residents say that the local water has an overly chlorinated taste that they ignore. Still others say that they need a home water filtering system to make the water palatable.
Solutions for Off Flavor Water
Travel advisors tell tourists to bring their own small filtering system with them to Florida, such as a small filter that fits onto a commercial water bottle itself, or to pack their own drinking water.
Tap water might not be the only water tasting and smelling strange in Orlando, though. Ice cubes made from the water may make beverages taste strange and Coca-Cola® bottled in Orlando likely uses Orlando water as well. The Coke will taste different. The Coffee and tea might taste different as well - even soups made with local water. It's a far-reaching situation.
If you are planning to visit or relocate to Orlando, call your hotel ahead of time and ask about the water quality, smells and tastes, and ask for suggestions. You might consider taking bottled water with you for your stay. Happy journey!
© 2011 Patty Inglish MS