TAMPA, Fla. — Starting Thursday, Hillsborough County residents may notice their water tastes and smell different. The county is making changes due to a lack of liquid oxygen, which is used to treat water, because of the pandemic.
The county said it will be a slight change in taste and smell that many people might not even notice, but they assure everyone it is still safe to drink.
Tampa Bay Water is changing the treatment from liquid oxygen to sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach, at its Lithia Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Facility.
In a press release, the county explained that the pandemic has caused a delivery driver shortage to get the liquid oxygen into the facility and the local hospitals need the available liquid oxygen for COVID-19 treatments.
This is temporary as they are working with vendors to get more deliveries.
This is an issue seen across the country and in other parts of Florida.
The mayor of Orlando also asked residents there to conserve water because of a shortage of liquid oxygen.
Officials have said it’s hard to tell how long the shortage will last, but once hospitalizations decrease, the supply will likely increase.
Hillsborough County is asking for residents’ help in preserving drinking water by cutting down on any non-essential water usage like watering your lawn when it’s raining or washing you vehicles at home.