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City of St. John’s says water safe to drink, despite unpleasant taste and odour

Due to a defective waterline, 10 homes in Black Duck Cove have been dealing with a loss of running water for the past few years. The issues have increased with time, with the area now losing its water access for hours at a time. Community initiatives to get government funding have been unsuccessful thus far.
The City of St. John's says its drinking water is safe despite the unpleasant taste and smell.

The City of St. John’s issued a news release Wednesday afternoon addressing concerns of an unpleasant taste and smell in the city’s drinking water.

The release said it’s not uncommon during the summer months for drinking water to have a “slight ‘earthy’ or ‘musty’ odour and taste”.

“This taste and odour is caused by trace levels of naturally occurring organic substances produced by plants and algae in the water source. The human nose is extremely sensitive to these organic substances especially when showering or making tea as heating the water increases volatility of the organic substances.”

The city’s water supply comes from Windsor Lake, Bay Bulls Big Pond and Petty Harbour Long Pond.

The release said while the water may taste and smell unpleasant, it’s not harmful or toxic, and it’s analyzed daily.

It’s also not known how long the taste and smell will persist because it’s a “naturally occurring phenomenon”. In the past, it’s lasted for up to two to three weeks.

Meantime, the release said residents could add lemon or citrus to the water to improve the taste, or keep a cold jug of water in the fridge.

Residents concerned about their water can contact Access St. John’s by calling 311 or 754-CITY (2489) or by online web submission.

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