River conditions lead to bad tasting, smelling water in Stettler

Stettler residents turning the taps this week may notice that the water has a certain unpleasant odour or taste

Stettler residents turning the taps this week may notice that the water has a certain unpleasant odour or taste, but it isn’t anything that puts their safety at risk, the Town of Stettler said.

Despite the smell and unpleasant taste to water coming from the community’s taps, there’s no health risk due to the treatment methods and testing in which the town engages, Melissa Robbins, director of operational services, stated in an email.

“The water was, and continues to be, safe to drink,” she wrote.

“The town treats water from the Red Deer river, which is a continually varying water source with respect to quality,” she explained in an e mail.

Factors such as flooding, low water, algae blooms and up-river contamination can all affect the quality of water used by the town.

This means the town is constantly monitoring not only the safety of the water processed, but also smell, colour and taste. At times, adjustments are made to try to compensate for the odour, taste and colour of the water, but water leaving the treatment plants is safe to drink, meeting provincial guidelines and regulations. Tests are done daily to be certain of the water’s safety.

When the town’s staff noticed the smell and taste issues on Sunday, July 12, the town adjusted the treatment method to hopefully clear up the problem. Adjustments were completed Monday morning, Robbins said.

“(We) expect the quality to be improved within a few days,” Robbins wrote in her email.

The last time the town experienced water problems of this sort was three years ago, Robbins noted.