Water from the MacArthur Reedman Water System is safe to drink, even if it may look cloudy when it first comes out of the tap.
The reason for the cloudiness is that conditions in Shuswap Lake are causing a scientific phenomenon known as supersaturation.
Water users may notice tap water temporarily appears cloudy when filling a glass. This a natural phenomenon that can occur this time of year when Shuswap Lake water is cold and filled with oxygen.
What you’re witnessing is thousands of tiny oxygen bubbles that were dissolved in the water and are now escaping back into the air.
Shuswap Lake water is currently 4°C or lower at the MacArthur Reedman water intake and is more than 100% saturated with oxygen. After your water is made safe to drink at the CSRD treatment plant, it flows through the distribution system to your house. This supersaturation effect means it can come out of the faucet looking cloudy.
The container of water will slowly become clear from the bottom to the top. Within a few minutes, the cloudiness clears.
Residents can be assured this is a normal process and do not need to be concerned. Water from the system is tested regularly and all current tests show the water is safe to consume. Should that change, the CSRD and Interior Health would immediately notify residents.
Photo: When supersaturation occurs, water poured from the tap into a container will start out looking cloudy, but as the oxygen bubbles in the water dissolve into the air, the water will become clear from bottom to top. This image shows the progression.