The Town of Drumheller has said water from its plant is safe for consumption. The Town increased levels of potassium permanganate at its water treatment plant to combat the foul smell and odour of Drumheller's water.
The Town of Drumheller has increased the chemical used to control taste and odour in Town water. The Town’s decision to increase the potassium permanganate came after it received several complaints from residents about Drumheller’s water quality January 10 and 11.
Deputy Mayor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk understands residents are concerned and upset.
“Just bear with us. We’re going to get it fixed and solved,” she said. “We’re on it, and I hope we don’t see this occurring again for some time.”
Residents went through a similar situation with Drumheller’s drinking water in August 2014, and the Deputy Mayor said she understands it’s the same issue - the standing water the Town had in reserve became stale.
The Town said two factors contributed to the current foul tasting water from the Drumheller plant: older water from the raw water cells moved through the water treatment plant as ice built up in the reservoir, and the inability of the solar bee mixers to circulate the water properly when the water starts to freeze.
As of Monday morning, the Town said the water being produced at its plant is free of any taste and odour, and Utilities Manager Brian Bolduc said the water is safe for consumption.
The Town said they will be adding fresh water to the system where they can, and will continue to closely monitor the situation.
“I’d like to say it would never happen again,” said Hansen-Zacharuk. “But obviously, this is the second time. Realistically we’re going to take all necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
She notes the Town is budgeting about $25,000 for this year to clean out the sediment and plant life that has collected in the larger reservoirs, which she says theoretically should solve the issue.