Water in a small North Island town might smell and taste funny, but it's still safe to drink, Ruapehu District Council says.
Warm weather and unseasonal low flows on Makotuku River mean algae is blooming already, leaving a sour taste in the tap water for Raetihi residents.
It's a yearly problem in summer though the council is already fielding calls about it even though it's only November, environmental manager Anne Marie Westcott says.
"The important thing to note is that despite any taste or odour the township's tap drinking water is 100 percent safe and will not cause people to be ill."
The tap water is treated and tested daily, she said.
However, removing the taste and odour was not a simple process, and a full treatment system may not remove all of the taint, she said.
The Ministry of Health has awarded the council a grant for a new water treatment plan, but the build is expected to take about two years.
The council is publishing graphs of water flows on the Makotuku River and test results on its website and Facebook page.