During this period of time, normally March through May, a slight change is made in the water treatment process in an effort to facilitate an effective flushing program. Throughout the year, chloramine (ammonia and chlorine) is added to the water as the primary disinfectant. During the Annual Water Main Flushing program in the Spring, chlorine is added in an uncombined state, commonly referred to as free chlorine. Free chlorine is a more aggressive disinfectant, and this temporary change in the water treatment process helps prevent bacteria from becoming overly resistant. Depending on your location within the distribution system and usage patterns, it could take up to a week for your drinking water to transition from combined to free chlorine at the beginning of March, or from free chlorine to combined chlorine at the beginning of June.
You may notice a chlorine taste and odor in your drinking water while free chlorine is utilized. If you are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine, try keeping an open container of drinking water in your refrigerator. This will enable the chlorine to dissipate, thus reducing the chlorine taste.
To learn more, visit the Annual Water Main Flushing Program page.