RICHARDSON – Each spring for about one month, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) suspends the use of ammonia to allow the remaining chlorine to keep the water disinfected as it travels through the system.

The temporary change in disinfectant helps maintain the system and high-water quality year-round. It’s important to do this before summer because hotter temperatures can increase the potential for bacterial growth in pipes.

“This is a process that is fairly common to help keep the piping system, the distribution system at optimal performance so that water quality can be assured year-round,” said Billy George, assistant deputy for NTMWD.

The district uses both chlorine and ammonia to keep the water disinfected as it travels to homes and businesses. It uses ozone for disinfection in the treatment process and then chlorine keeps it disinfected and safe to drink on the long journey to your tap.

“We follow the recommendations of industry leaders out there, the medical community, state and federal regulatory agencies to make sure that our water does meet all requirements and we rely on those rule makes to establish what is safe for human consumption,” said George.

While the process is normal for water suppliers across the country, water purification marketing and others sometime target communities where its taking place heightening sensitivities to the process.  To be responsive to those concerns, the North Texas Municipal Water District wants people to know that quality assurance inspectors conduct the safety of the water being delivered.

“The district analysis over 250,000 samples a year which is hundreds of samples each day to check the quality to make sure we’re doing the best job we can,” said Kristen Suprobo, quality assurance officer for the district.

During chlorine maintenance, the only thing people will notice is a faint odor and a possible change in taste – which district leaders say is completely normal.  Results of the water sampled are also reported to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and made available for anyone to view and serve as another check to balance concerns about water quality.

“North Texas Municipal Water District and our cities have worked closely together to develop a number of resources, that are available on our website and in many times on our cities’ websites, they can go pull from, that are compilations of information from experts in the field, in the medical community, the regulatory community, and just practical tips for folks,” he said.

For more information on the annual chlorine maintenance, visit:

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