Residents in Thorsby have a few choice words to describe the water coming out of the taps in their town, some calling it: putrid, nasty, undrinkable. Town officials say it doesn’t pose a health risk, and they’re working to address it.

Some residents in Thorsby described the tap water to CTV News as moldy and tasting like dirt, “generally terrible” and “the smell is just a gross smell”.

Some have even noticed a change in colour.

“There are people that turn on their water and it’s yellow,” Ashley Gilbert at the Thorsby Family Restaurant told CTV News.

The town has had troubles with water for decades, but this particular issue arose in the last few weeks.

Town officials told CTV News the water is safe to drink, but residents pay a premium for water treatment, ever since a new multi-million dollar water treatment plant began operations five years ago.

“Very concerning, because we’re paying top dollar for it, and we should be providing top water,” Deputy Mayor Lloyd Jardine said.

It’s believed the issue could be in the town’s raw water pond. An engineer had advised town officials that it should be cleaned every five years, although it hasn’t been cleaned since the new water plant came online and perhaps even longer.

“I’ve been here for 12 to 13 years, and I know for a fact it hasn’t been done in the last 13 years,” Jardine said.

The Town said the pond will be dredged, and officials hope that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, officials said it will be a much bigger job – as the pipes running underground will have to be dug up, which could cost upwards of $10 million.

With files from Dan Grummett