The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) is conducting its annual chlorine maintenance in its water treatment process through March 30. The annual, routine change is necessary to maintain the regional system and year-round water quality.

The maintenance is a critical part of the water treatment process that keeps drinking water free of harmful microorganisms, such as parasites and viruses. Normally, a two-step process first treats the water at the treatment plant and then chloramine disinfectant (chlorine + ammonia) is added to maintain water quality on its journey through the miles of pipes to homes and businesses.

During the annual maintenance period, NTMWD suspends adding ammonia and uses only 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.

During the maintenance period, the cities and districts served by NTMWD may help move the chlorine-disinfected water through the system by flushing water from fire hydrants. The combination of converting to chlorine disinfectant and flushing the pipes helps maintain the system.

The maintenance does not increase the amount of chlorine or affect the water quality and the water remains safe for use. Consumers who are sensitive to taste and odor changes in drinking water might notice a slight change during this period, however this does not alter the quality of the drinking water.

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 1,000 mg vitamin C tablet to bath water will remove the chlorine.

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