People In Edmonton Say Their Drinking Water Smells Or Tastes Like 'A Wave Pool' & Here's Why

It's not just you!

The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton. Right: A person getting tap water.

The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton. Right: A person getting tap water.

People in Edmonton are complaining that their drinking water smells and tastes "extra-chlorine-y" at the moment and there's actually a pretty good explanation why.

Users on Twitter said it smells "like the wave pool" at the West Edmonton Mall but, according to experts, it's caused by the time of year.

"Is the water in Edmonton extra chlorine-y or is it just me? My shower smells like a public pool," one user said.

Another added: "I'm not too bothered by Edmonton's chlorine-heavy water, but the dog — who will eat rotting things off the ground — is none too keen."

Another posted: "Hey, why does all the water in Edmonton currently smell and taste like chlorine? I hate it here."

However, there's actually a scientific reason as to why people's water smells like a public pool right now.

As snow in the city melts and runs into the North Saskatchewan River, it brings a lot of decomposing vegetation, sediment and other organic materials into the river with it, EPCOR, Edmonton's water company explained.

The spring runoff, as it's known, changes the quality of water in the river and water can end up with a "musty or earthy smell."

"EPCOR prepares for spring runoff in advance by adjusting our treatment process to neutralize odours; however, you may still notice a temporary change in the smell or taste of the drinking water," it explained.

EPCOR added that the water is completely safe to drink during the spring runoff.

If you are having an issue with your water smelling, the company recommends running your cold water tap for at least three minutes in the morning or adding lemon to your water to neutralize the smell.

Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart was a Travel Creator for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Calgary, Alberta.