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Here's why you may have noticed changes in your tap water

A water can be seen in this file photo. (David Prisciak/CTV News) A water can be seen in this file photo. (David Prisciak/CTV News)

Many residents in both Regina and Moose Jaw may have noticed an unusual taste and odour from their drinking water. The change is nothing to worry about, according to the cities.

The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation recently sent out a PSA – assuring residents that their water is safe to drink and meets all regulatory drinking water requirements.

The source of the odour is a blue-green algae bloom on Buffalo Pound Lake – which provides water for both cities.

According to Saskatchewan's Water Security Agency (WSA), algae blooms commonly occur during calm, hot weather in areas of lakes and reservoirs with shallow, slow moving or still water that has sufficent nutrients.

"Many of Saskatchewan’s southern lakes are prone to blue-green algae due to the high levels of naturally occurring nutrients they contain," the WSA explained.

Blue-green algae is a type of naturally occuring bacteria that can be present in bodies of water. The WSA says the summer heat can cause patches of harmful algae blooms, which give the water a shimmering, foamy or pea soup like appearance.

"The blooms may be blue-green, bright blue, grey or tan in colour. Warm temperatures can result in the quick formation of algal blooms," WSA said.

To minimize the smell and taste of the bloom affected water, personnel at the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant (BPWTP) have begun using powdered activated carbon.

However, the process has “limited effectiveness.”

A new carbon filter system is currently being installed at the plant and is expected to be up and running within the next month.

“When the carbon filters are commissioned and put on-line, the taste and odour will no longer occur,” the PSA read.

The plant is currently receiving a $325 million renewal. Construction is set to be completed in early 2026. The renewal includes process improvements in addition to the deep bed carbon filters.

“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.”

This is not the first time residents have encountered the issue. In May of 2023, BPWTP had to notify the public about changes in the water supply, again blamed on algae blooms.

The blooms can last up to three weeks and have the ability to be pushed around lakes and reservoirs by the wind. Top Stories

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