It is that time of year again when the local water supply can take on an unusual odor or taste as cities across the US conduct an annual conversion of disinfectants in the water supply.
The process, occasionally referred to as a “chlorine burnout,” is completely safe but may cause a weird taste or order from your tap water. During the event, the Water Treatment Plant switches the disinfectant used in the system from the standard chloramine to free chlorine.
The periodic and temporary conversion from chloramines to free chlorine, which is a normal procedure for water systems, ensures water safety in distribution lines and the highest quality of drinking water. The Water Department will continue to monitor chlorine levels and water-quality standards in the distribution system daily to ensure the safety of the water and that all state and regulatory standards are met in full.
Free chlorine is a stronger disinfectant than chloramine. As a result, water users may experience a slight change in the aesthetics of their water during the conversion, including noticeable “chlorine odor” and slight discoloration. Most symptoms should lessen after the first week and do not affect the safety of the water supply.
For more information, go to your city's website to see if and when your city will be conducting a chlorine burnout.