Maintenance of water system may alter smell, taste
Purity of drinking water remains unchanged
MURPHY (February 18, 2020) Starting on March 2 and continuing until March 30, some Murphy residents may detect a slight difference in the taste and smell of their water, according to Wade Williams, Public Works Superintendent.
“Our water supplier, the North Texas Municipal Water District, conducts its system maintenance during this time of year,” he said. “Always completed during the cooler months, the annual maintenance does not affect either the purity or the usability of the water.”
Murphy is among the area’s cities and towns that purchase their water from the district, often referred to as NTMWD, which conducts the annual system maintenance according to strict limitations.
Still, people with heightened senses may detect a slightly altered taste and smell. That’s 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.
However, during the maintenance period, ammonia is not added, making the chlorine disinfectant more noticeable to some people. 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 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, 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/.