Does your tap water taste or smell different in Edmonton? It's supposed to

Mar 23 2022, 10:29 pm

Many Edmontonians have been asking the same question over the past few days: why does my tap water taste or smell different?

It’s not all in your head, and it all has to do with the warm temperatures and the snow melting away.

The issue has made many people turn to social media to ask fellow residents of Edmonton if they noticed a change in their water. Many agreed.

“Have definitely noticed it the past two days. As mentioned probably due to increased levels to deal with Spring Run Off,” wrote one Reddit user in a thread on r/Edmonton regarding the city’s tap water. “I refilled my water bottle two times convinced it was the water bottles. Thank you for solving this mystery!” wrote another.

The change in taste or smell of Edmonton’s drinking water all has to do with spring runoff as sediment, vegetation and other organic materials can give the water a musty or earthy smell.

EPCOR says it prepares for spring runoff in advance by adjusting our treatment process to neutralize odours; however, you may still notice a temporary change in the smell or taste of the drinking water.

“Our water quality specialists continuously monitor and treat the water 24/7 as it enters the plant adjusting and compensating for changing river conditions to ensure it is clean, safe and pleasant to drink,” EPCOR stressed.

“We adjust our water treatment process by adding powdered activated carbon in the first stage of water treatment. The activated carbon helps remove odour-causing compounds and is then removed by sedimentation.”

EPCOR even provides tips on how to minimize the slight odours in your water during spring runoff, including:

  • Running the cold water tap for at least three minutes (or until the water feels cold) in the morning and any other time when the water hasn’t been used in 6 or more hours.
  • Adding lemon slices to your water is a great way to neutralize any odour along with store-bought carbon filters.
  • If you’re using a device to filter your tap water, remember to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacing and conditioning the filter cartridges.
Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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