10 Investigates Puts Columbus Water Worries To Rest

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A 10 Investigates' investigation into Columbus City water shows it is safe to drink, despite foul odors and complaints from people who say it made them feel ill.

For months, Columbus City water customers have experienced foul smells and "musty tastes."

"It was like drinking out of my fish pond," said Bob Telerski of the water coming out of his home in the Whitehall area.

Other consumers told 10 Investigates it made them feel ill.

Jessica Gore claimed that she felt better when she stopped drinking the water.

"Within 12 hours, all of my symptoms were gone," Gore said. Gore did not go to a doctor.

The City of Columbus has always stated the water was safe to drink.

"If there was something in the water that might have made anyone sick, we would have been required to issue public advisories - and with over half a million people served (by a single water treatment plant)...if that were the case we would have had a lot of reports,"  Columbus City Water spokeswoman Laura Young Mohr said by email.

10 Investigates tested the assertion by analyzing water for a toxin known as microcystins. Microcystins are sometimes associated with the blue green algae responsible for the odor problems.
The station bought test kits used by municipalities throughout the country. Some of the kits apparently produced false positives.

However, subsequent testing by The Ohio State University proved the water was safe to drink.

Terleski said he was relieved by the station's findings.

"I am a lot more confident than before you got here," Terleski said. "The water must be really good, certainly safe enough to drink."