Strange odour and taste in Regina’s tap water due to early algae bloom

According to the City of Regina, Regina residents who may have noticed a funny smell and taste in their water have nothing to be concerned about.

Blair Kardash, a manager of laboratory & research at the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, said that the odour and taste are due to very high algae levels in Buffalo Pound Lake.

“Despite this unusual taste and odour, the water is safe to drink and meets all regulatory drinking water requirements.”

“Right now, we are having an unusual and very rare early algae bloom,” he said. “In addition, the plant at this point in time is caught in a seasonal change here, which makes it very difficult for us to put on our carbon filters that are very effective at odour removal.”

He said it’s hard to pinpoint why they see the algae bloom this early in the year.

“Behaviour of algae is not an exact science,” he explained. I’ve been here for 34 years, and having an algae bloom this year in the season has only happened about three times. We haven’t been able to pinpoint an exact reason as to why this type of unusual event occurs.”

Kardash added that the plant is currently using powdered activated carbon to reduce taste and odour and expects to have the odour and taste issues resolved by the middle of next week.

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