Taste and smell of water may be altered during maintenance

March 14, 2017

Between now and April 10, some residents may detect a slight difference in the taste and smell of their water, says Water Conservation Education Coordinator Tristan Cisco.

“This is the time of year that our water supplier conducts their system maintenance,” she said.  “The maintenance of the system, always done during the cooler months, does not affect the purity or usability of the water, however.”

Prosper is among the area’s cities and towns that purchase most of their water from the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).

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, giving chlorine a greater level of concentration.  This can result in a change in the smell and taste of the water.

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

“At the end of the 30-day chlorine maintenance period, the taste and smell should return to normal,” said Cisco.

Read news release here