Edmonton water sniffers poised to whiff into action with spring runoff
The nose knows when it comes to changes in drinking water from the North Saskatchewan River
Amber Sears removes a glass stopper from a beaker, gives the contents a swirl and takes a whiff.
"You're smelling for musty and earthy smells," Sears said. "That's what happens when the spring runoff happens, when the vegetation comes into the water."
Ten analysts, sporting white lab coats, test samples at the EPCOR water excellence lab, located on the north bank of the North Saskatchewan River next door to the decommissioned Rossdale power plant.
The space, completed in 2015, is clean, bright and modern.
The drinking water is tested for more than just bouquet. There are 300 parameters, Harnish said. "We do things like pH, conductivity, colour and turbidity."
EPCOR supplies drinking water to more than a million people including those in communities as far away as Vermilion, Calmar and Wabamun.
Sears doesn't believes her nose is anything special, but it does make it impossible to leave her work at the lab.
She admits she finds herself smelling the water from her kitchen tap.
"Absolutely. Yes, I do."