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Water safe despite smell: City

Brandon's drinking water remains safe to drink, despite springtime struggles.

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Brandon's drinking water remains safe to drink, despite springtime struggles. (POSTMEDIA NEWS ARCHIVE)

The city of Brandon is blaming spring runoff and cold temperatures for a musty smell that some people are noticing from their tapwater.

Drinking water is Brandon is drawn originally from the Assiniboine River, and the city says the river is colder than normal, making it more difficult to treat for both taste and odour that are produced by organic compounds in the water.

However, staff at the water treatment plant are monitoring the taste and odour, and say that the musty smell is an inconvenience only — the water remains safe to drink. There is no need to boil water before drinking it, and people can use their tap water as they would normally.

As staff continue to refine the water treatment, it's expected that there may be some chlorine smell from tapwater as well, although it will also be safe to drink.

Brandon's water system has come under fire in recent years, after high levels of lead were detected in some homes' water. The city has also strugged to meet provincial standards for trihalomethanes — a byproduct of the disinfection process that has repeatedly been found at too-high levels in city water.

The current issues with taste and smell are not expected to be long term problems, the city says.

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