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Regina, does your tap water taste weird? Here’s why

Drinking water is poured into a glass from a faucet. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Some Regina and Moose Jaw, Sask., residents may have noticed an unusual smell or taste in the city’s water over the last few days.

The problem isn’t new, as most years a smell will drift through the pipes every once and a while. But where does it come from?

Around 270,000 people get their water from the Buffalo Pound facility. In the spring, however, increased algae can lead to musty water.

“Buffalo Pound Lake is the source water for Regina’s and Moose Jaw’s drinking water and is currently experiencing its usual annual algae bloom which is causing the high levels of taste and odours,” the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant said in a statement.

Despite the odour, the City of Regina said the water is safe to drink.

“The plant is currently using powdered activated carbon in its process to decrease the intensity of taste and odour but it does have limited effectiveness.

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“The construction team, programmers, and plant staff are working diligently to get the new and complex deep bed carbon filter system in service within the next month. When the carbon filters are commissioned and put on-line, the taste and odour will no longer occur.”

The treatment plant is currently undergoing a $325.6-million upgrade, which includes year-round smell and taste control.

“The renewal includes additional process improvements in addition to the deep bed carbon filters that will provide taste and odour removal year-round,” the statement reads.

“The BPWTC asks that the citizens of Regina and Moose Jaw be patient as the new processes will soon provide year-round removal of taste and odours from their drinking water.”

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