Annual water system maintenance scheduled for March
Change in water’s taste and smell may be detected
MELISSA (February 15, 2022) The annual maintenance procedure that can sometimes alter the taste and smell of water coming from faucets starts on March 1 and continues until March 29 as Melissa’s water supplier, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), temporarily changes the method of water disinfection.
“The annual change is required to maintain the quality of our water all year long,” says Melissa Public Works Director Jeff Cartwright. “Of course, disinfection is necessary to keep our drinking water free of harmful microorganisms, like parasites and viruses. During this period, residents might also see water being flushed from fire hydrants. This is done to ensure that the disinfection process moves throughout our entire system.”
The usual disinfection process involves treating the water at the treatment plant and then adding a chloramine disinfectant. Chloramines are composed of chlorine and ammonia and maintain water quality as it travels through pipes to homes and businesses.
However, during the annual change, NTMWD stops adding ammonia and uses free chlorine to keep water disinfected. This must be done before summer starts because hotter temperatures can increase the potential for bacterial growth in pipes.
“During the period when ammonia is removed from the process, the chlorine disinfectant can become more noticeable to some people,” said Cartwright. “Nevertheless, the taste and odor can be lessened by placing a pitcher of water in the refrigerator overnight or by adding a slice of lemon, orange or other citrus to the water.” Adding a crushed 1,000 mg vitamin C tablet to bath water will neutralize the chlorine.
NTMWD has conducted the temporary change in water disinfectant for over a decade and continues to meet safe drinking water standards. The water supplier conducts constant testing of the water, including during the annual maintenance period. Customers can view the results at www.ntmwd.com/water-testing.
Online resources, including fact sheets, FAQs, infographics, videos, and guidelines for questions about water quality are available at www.ntmwd.com/temporary-change-in-disinfectant.
Residents and business owners can obtain more information by visiting either www.NTMWD.com/safewater or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at www.tceq.texas.gov/drinkingwater/disinfection/temporary-free-chlorine-conversion.