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4th July 2015
Thursday, July 2, 2015 4:56:05 MDT PM

A month ago, Kevin Miller, Nanton’s chief administrative officer, approached the engineers who work closely with the Town about the quality of the town’s drinking water.

“I went to our engineers at ISL Engineering and said we wanted to start looking at the taste and odour concerns of the drinking water that we have in the town of Nanton,” he said.

“Our engineers came back to me with a study that came out of Virginia Tech, and it showed us that there are 100 different things that could cause different types of taste and odour concerns that could happen in a water supply. It could be something related to our existing treatment plant and the process, it

could be something in our raw water reservoir, it could be to do with the water itself, it could be to do with the distribution system.

“There are so many different pieces that could play into this.”

The engineers suggested a number of volunteers throughout the community become involved in the process of taste testing the water and then provide feedback over the course of two weeks.

At the town hall meeting on June 22, Miller introduced the “Water Volunteer Project.”

“The test is very simple to do. It takes about a minute or two a day for a resident to be able to do this. It’s not a complex test. It’s what you personally perceive as the taste and odour of this water,” said Miller.

To do this test, a person pours a small amount of water from the tap into the bottom of a cup, shakes it up a little, smells it and records the findings, and

then tastes it and records the findings.

Once the town of Nanton gets a group of people assembled, it’s a simple smell and taste test on the water coming out of the tap in their homes.

“We will provide kind of a wheel that helps the volunteer describe the water in descriptive words — is it earthy? bleachy? grassy? metallic?

“Then we will also determine the intensity on a specific scale - is it better at this time of day or worse at this time of day? Does your water slowly get worse during the week or does it get better?” said Miller.

“Once we assemble this over a couple of weeks, we should be able to have a very good idea of exactly what cause or causes that may be in our system that are contributing to the taste and odour concerns that we have in our community.

“The more data we collect, the better off we are. Then once we know what the problem is, we can properly design to fix the problem.”

Miller believes that, with the help of the residents of Nanton feedback, the problem will be determined and, hopefully, in the long run, solved.

“ISL is doing this for us for free at the moment, too, so they can actually come up with a proposal on what it would take and how much it may cost to fix this,” said Miller.

So far a handful of community residents have signed up for the project.

Miller hopes to get the project started around the middle of July and let it run for two weeks.

“The more people we have involved in the project, the better the information we are going to be able to gather and the better the solution will

end up being in the end,” said Miller.

The Town’s administrator hopes to have the project wrapped up by the end of July “at the absolute latest.”

At the town hall meeting, Mayor Rick Everett also encouraged residents to sign up and participate.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the project can call the Town of Nanton’s office at 403-646-2029 or email Kevin Miller at