Discoloured water in south London still safe to drink

File photo by © Can Stock Photo / andreykuzmin

People in south London may notice a slight odour and discolouration of their tap water this week.

City of London officials have said the smelly, off-colour water is the result of issues at the city’s water treatment plant processing water coming from Lake Erie.

“The Great Lakes undergo seasonal cycles of water layering and mixing caused by changes in temperature and available sunlight,” the city said in a statement. “Parts of Lake Erie have recently undergone an ‘inversion’, which has mixed different layers of water together and created challenges for the water treatment process.”

Despite the odour and discolouration, the water is safe to drink and meets all health standards, the city has reassured. However, people whose water is discoloured are being advised to hold off doing laundry for the rest of the week.

As of Tuesday, the water at the treatment plant is starting to return to normal. Properties in southeast London – the area south of Commissioners Road and east of Wonderland Road – may experience temporary water discolouration for the rest of this week, according to the city.

Residents who experience odour or discolouration in their tap water after next Monday are asked to call the city’s water operations at 519-661-4739 or to report the issue online.