Source: http://www.leaderpost.com/ By: AUSTIN M. DAVIS, LEADER-POST
REGINA — Some Regina residents may notice the smell or taste of lake water when they run the tap, but officials say the city’s water is safe to drink and will stay that way.
Ryan Johnson, Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant general manager, said the odour and taste is a result of an algae bloom in Buffalo Pound Lake that usually doesn’t occur until mid-May.
As a result, he said, the only solution the plant has to minimize the odour and taste is to use powdered activated carbon to remove the organics in the water.
Johnson said the odour wouldn’t be detected by everyone, but citizens with a sensitive sense of smell may notice something a bit off.
The plant’s normal procedure is to use its 20-year-old granular activated carbon contactors that keep the smell and taste of the water down during the summer and into the fall.
When the lake water quality gets better closer to the winter, the plant shuts the contactors off and lets them regenerate.
“The problem is, we just finished regenerating them and we’re not ready to use them quite yet. And this hit us a couple weeks earlier (than expected),” Johnson said.
He couldn’t pinpoint a specific factor causing the early algae bloom, but said the lake’s water quality has been consistently deteriorating since 2011.
“The quality of the lake is getting worse, which means we need to spend more money to keep treating it,” Johnson said. “We’d like to see it flushed, we’d like to see the water in the lake changed over more often because that would improve the quality in the lake, but our treatment plant, for the most part, can handle most things you throw at it.”