Drinking water

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) is performing annual water system maintenance, and it could impact the smell of drinking water.

Disinfection is a critical part of the water treatment process that keeps drinking water free of harmful microorganisms, such as parasites and viruses, the district stated.

Disinfection involves a two-step process that first treats the water at the treatment plant and then chloramine disinfectant (chlorine and ammonia) is added to maintain water quality on its journey through the miles of pipes to homes and businesses. During the temporary change, NTMWD suspends adding ammonia and uses only free chlorine to keep water disinfected as it travels through pipes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this temporary conversion is a common practice for as many as 40 percent of water providers using chloramines for disinfection.

“This routine, temporary change in water disinfectant is critical to maintain the right conditions inside our pipelines and water quality year-round,” said Zeke Campbell, NTMWD Water System Manager. “This common system maintenance practice does not increase the amount of chlorine, and the water remains safe to drink, and we continue to meet or surpass safe drinking water standards.”

NTMWD has conducted the temporary change in water disinfectant for over a decade, and continues to meet safe drinking water standards earning recognition from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as a Superior Public Water System.

The absence of ammonia during these few weeks may make the chlorine disinfectant more noticeable. There are simple steps to minimize taste, odor or skin sensitivities, including placing a pitcher of water in the refrigerator overnight or adding a slice of citrus to the water. Adding a crushed 1000 mg Vitamin C tablet to bath water will remove the chlorine.

For additional information, visit the NTMWD website at ntmwd.com/temporary-change-in-disinfectant.

The maintenance is set to run through March 29.

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