The North Texas Municipal Water District recently changed the disinfectant in the tap water for Collin, Dallas, Rockwall, Hunt and Kaufman Counties. The change could affect the taste and smell of the tap water temporarily, but officials say it’s safe.
Regular disinfectant is done in a two-step process. First, water is treated at the plant with ozone and free chlorine, then chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) is added before leaving the plant. The chloramine treatment maintains the required water disinfection levels while the water makes its way from the plant to your tap.
However, each spring for about a month, water providers suspend the use of ammonia, allowing the chlorine to keep the water disinfected as it travels through the system, according to the NTMWD.
“It’s important to do this before summer because hotter temperatures can increase the potential for bacterial growth in pipes,” NTMWD said. “Many water providers who use chloramine maintain their systems using this same process. NTMWD has been doing this for over 10 years, and high water quality has always been maintained.”
Though the chlorine levels are safe for skin and consumption, some individuals may be sensitive to the chlorine after ammonia is removed. For those who are sensitive to taste, the NTMWD recommends running the tap for a few minutes before using, refrigerating water in an open pitcher for several hours, adding a slice of citrus or cucumber and letting it sit for several hours or installing filters in kitchen faucets.
For those with sensitive skin, a crushed 1,000 mg vitamin C tablet can be added to bathwater or filters can be installed on bathroom faucets or showerheads.
“Plano’s water system has a “Superior” rating from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ),” Plano Public Works said on their website. “We exceed all state and federal drinking water standards.”