Residents of Edmonton have noticed an unusual taste and smell to their water over the past several days, and have made their displeasure known to the area’s municipal water manager, EPCOR Utilities. The company’s Twitter feed has been peppered with comments from Edmonton residents complaining of a chlorine or bleach-like scent and taste to the drinking water.

On its website, EPCOR released a statement explaining the sudden change: “As the snow pack melts and it flows downstream,” the statement explains, “sediment, vegetation and other organic material gets washed into the North Saskatchewan River. This ‘spring run-off’ can cause a distinct odour in our water supply.”

The statement also assured Edmonton residents that the change, in addition to being temporary, is completely harmless. “Water quality specialists test the water throughout the treatment process and as it leaves the treatment plant,” it explained. “Our treated water meets all public health and safety guidelines.” In a separate statement, EPCOR’s spokesperson Tim LeRiche noted that the company performs “as many as 100,000 separate tests each year.”

EPCOR even went so far as to offer a solution for drinkers with a strong dislike for the water’s new smell: “To remove any noticeable odour, fill a pitcher with tap water and add some cut lemons or lemon juice, and refrigerate until cold.”


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