Algae responsible for potential water taste and odour issues, CRD says

Algae responsible for potential water taste and odour issues, CRD says
The Sooke Lake Reservoir on May 10, 2020.

Increasing amounts of algae may lead some customers to detect taste or odour in their drinking water in the Capital Regional District but it is not harmful, according to officials.

According to the Capital Regional District (CRD) Integrated Water Services, an increased level of algae activity in the Sooke Lake Reservoir is causing potential taste and odour in the drinking water.

On Tuesday, the CRD issued a notice that over the last few days, higher numbers of a golden-brown algae called Uroglena have been observed in the Sooke Lake Reservoir and are now entering the water system.

“This particular algae species that naturally occurs in our lakes can produce a fishy or metallic taste and odour, however, the Island Health Authority confirms taste and odour are aesthetic parameters only – the water remains safe to drink and the aesthetic taste and odour parameters are not a health concern,” the CRD wrote in its alert.

The CRD said algae concentrations and locations in Sooke Lake Reservoir change with time but the duration of this current event is predicted to be a few days.

CRD staff are monitoring the quality and safety of the water. For updates, people in the CRD are asked to visit


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