Higher temperatures in reservoir causing drinking water odours

Despite the smell, city assures the public that there are no health concerns with the drinking water.

  • Aug. 28, 2015 8:00 p.m.

For the Townsman

Higher than normal water temperatures in the Phillips Reservoir is the cause of an increasing number of public complaints about the taste and odour of drinking water in the City.

Public Works staff has been fielding an increasing volume of calls this week that the water has a musty, skunky and swampy taste and smell, with the complaints coming from a variety of areas throughout Cranbrook.

There are no health concerns with the drinking water in the City of Cranbrook.

“All the complaints we are getting are valid,” says Joe McGowan, Director of Public Works. “It is unfortunate, but there is almost nothing we can do to address the current taste and odour issues, and the problem is not likely to go away anytime soon.”

The water quality complaints are the end result of higher than normal water temperatures in the Phillips Reservoir where the City currently draws most of its water from. Any creek water making it into Phillips Reservoir is warmer than normal and with the steady decrease in the water level in the reservoir is aiding the rise in the overall water temperature.

Those temperatures appear to be climbing. These higher temperatures essentially act as an incubator and promote the growth of aquatic vegetation within the water

causing the smell and taste complaints.

Public Works continues to take regular water quality measurements and no health concerns are being raised, as there is enough disinfection at all their sample points across the City.

“We will continue to monitor this closely and let the public know of any changes,” McGowan adds.