You may have noticed a change in the smell of your tap water recently. 

As the snow melts and flows into the North Saskatchewan River, it brings large amounts of sediment, decomposing vegetation, and other materials washed off the land and into the stream. 

The annual event can give the water a musty smell due to the organic materials. 

"In order to treat that kind of material at the treatment plant, they have to increase the chlorine a little bit. It just helps to break that material down and disinfect the water," said Bradley McDonald, manager of infrastructure strategy for the City of Fort Saskatchewan. 

McDonald acknowledged the chlorine smell has been quite notable this season but added the city had fielded more complaints in previous years regarding the smell than this year. 

Epcor, which treats and supplies water to the capital region, offers the following tips to neutralize any unwanted odours in your drinking water: 

  • Run 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 six or more hours. 
  • Adding lemon slices to your water is a great way to neutralize any odour and 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. 

McDonald said the odours should clear up come summertime.