COLUMBIA, S.C. — If you've noticed an earthy smell or taste to your tap water in Columbia recently, it's still completely safe to drink, officials say. The City of Columbia Water and Sewer issued an alert to customers that get their water from the Columbia Canal Water Treatment plant addressing the odd taste and odor in their water. Columbia Water explains that the changes in taste and smell come from naturally occurring algae in Lake Murray that grow in warmer temperatures. This is why it often happens every summer. Although it can be a nuisance, the company says it is completely harmless and is still good for human consumption.