Town’s water is safe to drink despite “earthy” smell, taste

Usually lasts three-to-six weeks

Town of Ponoka residents may have noticed a different taste or smell in their tap water lately.

Communications Manager Sandra Smith is reassuring residents that the water is safe and that the change in the water is a normal, annual occurrence due to spring runoff.

“In the spring, the snow melt causes high river flows which lead to higher river turbidity and increased organic materials in the water,” said Smith. “This can cause changes in the hardness, odour, taste and colour of your drinking water which can result temporarily in an earthy taste or smell to the water during the spring.”

The Town of Ponoka is one of five municipalities that are part of the North Red Deer Water Services Commission.

As a member of this commission, Ponoka receives treated, potable water from the City of Red Deer via a 50 km transmission line.

The water comes from the Red Deer River and is treated at the city’s water treatment plant.

“Due to the extensive water treatment in Red Deer and multiple layers of water testing that take place in Red Deer and Ponoka, you can be assured that your water is still safe to drink even though it may taste or smell differently in the spring.”

The water undergoes multiple steps to ensure quality and safety and it meets and exceeds acceptable limits outlined by Alberta Environment and the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, according to Smith.

The water is sampled and tested daily in Red Deer and is tested again when it arrives in Ponoka.

The Town of Ponoka tests the water every weekday for chlorine and organic particles.

Weekly water samples are also taken from various locations in town and tested for bacteria at a lab in Edmonton.

“The Town of Ponoka’s water meets and exceeds all federal and provincial environmental standards.”

To help improve the taste and smell, put the water in a pitcher and let it aerate, or try adding lemons or filtering the water through a consumer charcoal filter, says Smith.

According to, runoff conditions (the unusual taste and smell) lasts an average of three-to-six-weeks each spring.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supporting a friend with mental health issues

AHS: Do you have a friend who just doesn’t seem to be their usual self?

PHOTOS: Ponoka Curling Club hosts Alberta Junior Curling Tour Event

The Ponoka Curling Club hosted its first-ever Alberta Junior Curling Tour Event… Continue reading

Jeffery Kraft of Ponoka remembered for being loving, well-liked

Kraft passed away on Dec. 15, 2019, in Lacombe at 20 years old

Deserving Ponoka student appointed to National Youth Council

Yael Witvoet will now be able to advocate for causes on a national scale

Province investigating death of Samson Cree Nation youth in care

16-year-old found deceased outside in Rocky Mountain House

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

UPDATE Human remains found in Manny’s Motel ruins

UPDATE RCMP Major Crimes Unit Investigate Fatal Fire in Wetaskiwin

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Alberta Urban Municipalities Association wants province to make tax changes

The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled last year that municipalities are unsecured creditors

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

Womann can’t be identified under a court-ordered publication ban

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read