LITTLE ELM, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The annual chlorine maintenance carried out by the North Texas Municipal Water District will begin on Feb. 26 and continue until March 26, causing some customers to detect a slight change in the taste and smell of their water, says Andrew Figueroa, Utilities Superintendent for Little Elm.

“Every year, the North Texas Municipal Water District takes about a month to conduct this maintenance on its system,” said Figueroa. “During those 30 days or so, the purity and safety of the water does not change or diminish.”

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The Town of Little Elm says people with heightened senses may find a slightly altered taste and smell.

tap water (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

The town explained in a news release:

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This change in taste and smell is because chlorine is the only additive mixed into the water during the annual distribution system maintenance period. Normally, chlorine is combined with ammonia to treat drinking water, creating chloramines that serve to oxidize possible containments.

However, during this time-frame no ammonia is added resulting in what’s known as “free chlorine,” which can cause a change in the smell and taste.

This process is accomplished once a year to help optimize the quality in the distribution system and reduce the amount of water hydrant flushing in the warmer months.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allows water suppliers to perform chlorine maintenance, helping reduce the need to flush systems during the summer, thus conserving water.

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“At the end of the chlorine maintenance period, any taste and smell issue should be completely eliminated,” said Figueroa.