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September 14, 2016

Does your Philly tap water smell like moldy lemons?

If so, the Water Department wants to hear from you

The Philadelphia Water Department is urging residents who believe their tap water tastes or smells unusual to contact its hotline so it can be tested to determine the cause.

The request comes after several Philly residents described their tap water as tasting like moldy lemons and emitting a pungent odor earlier this week. In conversations posted to Reddit, residents reported experiencing the issue in South Philadelphia, Old City and University City. Some said it was a recent issue and others said it went back several weeks. 

The Water Department released a statement Wednesday asking residents to report any issues on its hotline at 215-685-6300.

"We are aware of, and are responding to, conversations on reddit about taste and odor concerns (moldy lemons, algae). Thus far we have not received any calls to our hotline (215-685-6300)," the statement read. "We are hoping we can get a few names and addresses so that we may obtain samples of tap water to evaluate at our Bureau of Laboratory Services. We urge residents with these concerns to please call our hotline so that we may follow up."

City spokesman Mike Dunn said the Water Department cannot speculate on the cause of the issue until it obtains and analyzes samples.

PhillyVoice would like to talk with residents who have experienced a change in their tap water. Email us at