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Annual water system maintenance set to start March 1
Water remains pure in spite of change in taste and smell
MURPHY (February 25, 2021) For practically the entire month of March, Murphy residents who detect an unusual taste or odor in their drinking water may opt to take some simple measures to disguise them, though they should rest assured that the water is safe for all uses.
The alteration is a result of the annual system maintenance procedure undertaken by the City’s water supplier, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), which will begin this year on Monday, March 1 and end on Monday, March 29, according to Wade Williams, Public Works Superintendent.
During this period, people with heightened senses may detect the change in the water’s taste and smell. Placing a pitcher of water in the refrigerator overnight or adding a slice of citrus to the water will minimize the taste and odor alteration. Adding a crushed 1,000 mg vitamin C tablet will neutralize the chlorine from bath water, making it undetectable.
“The NTMWD has conducted its system maintenance during this time of year for the last decade,” said Williams. “The annual maintenance may alter the taste and smell slightly but does not affect either the purity or the usability of the water.”
The change in the taste and smell occurs because chlorine is the only chemical added to the water during this period to kill bacteria and oxidize contaminants. Normally, chlorine is combined with ammonia to treat drinking water, creating a combined chlorine, or chloramines. Chloramines provide longer-lasting water treatment as the water moves through the system to consumers.
Since the ammonia normally added is eliminated during the maintenance period, the chlorine disinfectant becomes more noticeable to some people.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allows water suppliers to perform chlorine maintenance, which helps reduce the need for NTMWD to flush systems during the summer, thus conserving water.
“At the end of the chlorine maintenance period, on March 29, the taste and smell will return to normal,” said Williams.
NTMWD conducts hundreds of tests daily in a state-certified laboratory to ensure water safety. Monthly and annual water quality reports are posted online, including results of tests conducted during the annual system maintenance. Customers can view this information at www.ntmwd.com/water-testing/.