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Some Complain About Taste, Smell Of Water On Upper East Side

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - If you live on the Upper East Side and have noticed a change in the way your water tastes and smells, you're not alone. Local residents say that, as of late, it smells earthy and metallic.

As CBS2's Thalia Perez found out, while you may not like the taste and smell, it's still completely safe to drink and use.

"It may be safe, but it doesn't taste good, so I wouldn't drink it," said Lori Golden.

Golden is a dental hygienist who lives in Yorkville, and says she has given up on drinking tap water.

"I was always a big proponent of New York City drinking water. But I'm not drinking it. And I have grandchildren that I mix formula for, and I'm using bottled water," Golden said.

New York City has always been known to have the best tap water in the world, but neighbors describe the flavor as drastically different and unbearable to drink.

"About a month ago. It tasted really metallic or something," said Nancy Greenwald.

"We do use bottle water but we did notice the color has been a little murky last couple of months," said Barbara Goodman.

But for its part, the Department of Environmental Protection says the water is safe.

"New York City tap water is tested more than 500,000 times annually to ensure it is safe.  While there was a small uptick in reports to 311 last week about the taste of the tap water, those reports dropped to three as of yesterday," said Edward Timbers of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Perez met with Eric Goldstein of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"In general, when there's an earthy aroma to drinking water, it's an algae bloom on the reservoir," Goldstein said.

Goldstein says don't despair, this is only temporary. He offers some tips to mitigate the bad flavor.

"Let it sit for a while in a pitcher, or put it in the refrigerator overnight, and usually the earthy smell will disappear," he said.

So rest assured, when temperatures change in the fall, the taste of local tap water will improve.

Thalia Perez contributed to this report. 

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