Proposal for City's Stinky Water? Add Pumpkin Spice

It appears petition in Tempe, Ariz., is a joke, but the water can smell and taste awful there
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2017 9:10 AM CDT
Bugged by City's Smelly Water, a Call to Add Pumpkin Spice
Think we'll stick with the musty tap water, thanks.   (

Residents of an Arizona city with foul-smelling, unpalatable drinking water have proposed a solution that would make Starbucks proud: have the water company infuse it with pumpkin spice flavoring. The Arizona Republic reports on Tempe's tap-water woes, which are so pervasive the city is forced to acknowledge them on its website. The odor emanating from the water can come from the chlorine added by the city to disinfect it, or from residents' own "dirty drains," but what likely causes the "musty" smell most complain about is the presence of geosmin and 2-Methylisoborneol, two organic compounds that seem to always pop up in the fall. The compounds, which don't pose any kind of health risk, come from algae in local canals and lakes.

But health risk or not, those who use Tempe's taps want new flavoring to mask the musk, and a seemingly jokey pumpkin spice petition, with all of eight signatures so far, has emerged on community social media. "WHEREAS, the tap water tastes awful, and, WHEREAS, it's that time of year anyhow, we HEREBY ask the City of Tempe to put pumpkin spice in the tap water," it reads. The City of Tempe's official word on the matter: "[We] take great pride in producing clean, safe drinking water that is enjoyable year-round. Let's save the pumpkin spice for lattes," it says in a statement, per the Republic. (More drinking water stories.)

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