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Smelly Durham water safe to drink… just refrigerate it

The Regional Municipality of Durham yesterday assured residents that water continues to be safe to drink despite possible earthy or musty odours detected recently.

Taste and odour episodes are caused by seasonal biological changes in Lake Ontario and typically occur in the late summer or early fall, it said.

When: Typically occurs in the late summer or early fall. Although it is difficult to predict when conditions will return to normal, taste and odour episodes will generally fade away after the lake water temperatures decrease.

What: Possible earthy or musty odours detected in drinking water.

Why: Taste and odour episodes are caused by seasonal biological changes in Lake Ontario, especially during hot weather. Geosmin and 2-Methylisoborneol (MIB)—naturally occurring compounds in Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe—are not harmful to public health and the region’s water quality is not otherwise affected.

Laboratory testing of both the raw and treated water confirms that municipal water meets all Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards as set by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the statement said.

It said to reduce the taste and odour in the drinking water, residents can refrigerate a jug of water, or add ice cubes and a few drops of lemon juice to the water.

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