North Saskatchewan River

Edmonton water sniffers poised to whiff into action with spring runoff

Edmonton water sniffers poised to whiff into action with spring runoff

Amber Sears removes a glass stopper from a beaker, gives the contents a swirl and takes a whiff.
The 23-year-old is a water lab technician and sniffing is her job.
"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." 
She checks the scent wheel which offers descriptors like fishy, swampy and flowery. The wheel helps testers like Sears circle in on the aromatic analysis of our drinking water.