The city of Monroe’s water system began its annual disinfection process, altering the type of disinfectant used in the water supply beginning on Dec. 2 and concluding on Jan. 24, 2020.

The disinfection process entails changing the distribution system disinfectant from chloramines to free chlorine.

This is the 6th year that the city has conducted the disinfection process, which it described as “precautionary.”

It is typical for water systems that use chloramines to temporarily change to chlorine to clean water pipes and provide a reliable disinfectant residual throughout all points in the distribution system. Free chlorine is proven to be more effective in killing organisms within the pipes of the distribution system.

The city monitors the disinfectant residual in the distribution system daily. This measurement tells whether the city is effectively disinfecting the water supply.

If a longer duration is required, then the city will continue to use free chlorine as long as necessary.

During the temporary switch, residents may notice a chlorine taste and/or odor in their drinking water. Chlorine levels will continue to meet EPA standards and are not a health risk.

Residents are encouraged to run the cold water tap for several minutes when water is not used for several days; collect and refrigerate cold tap water in an open pitcher. Be sure to collect water after running the cold water tap for two minutes. Within a few hours, the chlorine taste and odor will disappear; and to know that water filters can reduce chlorine taste and smell. Residents also should use a filter certified to meet National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards and replace the filter cartridge as recommended by the manufacturer.

Customers who normally take special precautions to remove chloramines from tap water, such as dialysis centers, medical facilities and aquatic pet owners, should continue to take the same precautions during the temporary switch to chlorine. Most methods for removing chloramines from tap water are effective in removing chlorine.

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