How we ensure clean and safe tap water
Rest assured that
the water flowing from your tap is clean and safe. We work around the clock to provide high quality water to you and your family.
Testing for quality
More about water quality
Throughout the water treatment process, our Water Quality Specialists are testing the water daily in our Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) accredited water laboratory.
We test and adjust for more than 300 different parameters, only 80 of which are required. The rest are voluntary parameters we set ourselves, so when it comes to the quality of your water, it
meets or exceeds all of the requirements set by provincial standards and
Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.
Water is safe to drink during spring runoff
Water is safe to drink during spring runoff. Our
water quality specialists do increased monitoring and testing of the water throughout the treatment process to ensure it is clean, safe and pleasant to drink.
Spring runoff defined
As snow melts and flows into the North Saskatchewan River, it brings with it large quantities of sediment containing decomposing vegetation and other organic materials washed off the land.
During spring runoff, sediment, vegetation and other organic materials give the water a musty or earthy smell. We prepare 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.
We adjust the treatment process during spring runoff
The timing of spring runoff depends on the weather and temperature. While we don't know exactly when spring runoff will occur each year, we're always prepared for when it does. We adjust our water treatment process by adding powdered activated carbon in the first stage of water treatment. The activated carbon helps remove odour-causing compounds and is then removed by sedimentation.
Other than a slight odour or taste during spring runoff,
you shouldn't notice any changes to your water's appearance. If you do, or you notice a change you think is unrelated to spring runoff, please contact us at
Chlorine during spring runoff
Our water treatment processes use chlorine year-round to destroy harmful bacteria and other microbes.
During spring runoff, organic materials react with the chlorine, and this can create a chlorinous smell. While we increase the chlorine used in the treatment process during spring runoff, some of it is consumed by the reactions with organic material before the water enters the distribution system, so that the amount of chlorine in the drinking water remains unchanged.
You sniffed, we delivered
Each year, we recruit a panel of customer volunteers to participate in our Home Water Sniffing Program. This program is one way we get customer feedback about changes in taste and odour during spring runoff. Participants smell their tap water twice a day and enter their impressions into an anonymous online survey.
The results: In 2018, 92.8% of our home sniffers favourably assessed their drinking water odour during spring runoff.
How you can maintain good water quality
Adding lemon slices to your water is a great way to neutralize any odour along with store-bought carbon filters.
Here are some of our other recommendations:
Run the cold water tap for at least 3 minutes (or until the water feels cold) in the morning and any other time when the water hasn't been used in 6 or more hours.
Never use water from hot water taps for drinking, eating, cooking or baking. Instead, use cold tap water and heat it up.
- 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.