By: Frank Green

The birds are singing, the bears are prowling, and the tap water tastes slightly of chlorine. In other words, spring is here.

Melting snow and surging mountain creeks make spring the dirtiest time of the year for local water. Animals are awake again and pooping, and the disappearing snow abruptly dumps months worth of riverbank debris into the water. To compensate for all the muck, municipalities dose water supplies with a little more chemical than usual.

In McBride’s case, Dominion Creek first winds its way down Lucille Mountain. At the base, a little of the water gets siphoned off into a open holding area that looks like a suburban swimming pool. From there it’s piped along to a small building the same bright blue color as a heavily chlorinated pool, where it’s treated with UV light, chlorinated, and then stored in a big holding tank underground. And then it pours, clean and trustworthy and a little less tasty than usual at this time of year, out of local faucets and shower heads.

“We take it quite seriously and monitor it daily,” said Travis Wall, the public works lead hand for the Village of Mcbride. “There’s nothing to fear.”