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North Texas Municipal Water District: Annual water system maintenance planned March 4 April 1
By North Texas Municipal Water District
Mar 3, 2024
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Temporary change in water disinfectant
is essential for safe drinking water

Wylie, Texas -- The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) will temporarily change the disinfectant in its water treatment process from March 4 through April 1, 2024. The annual, routine change is necessary to maintain the regional system and year-round water quality.

"Protection of public health and keeping our water safe is a top priority," said Zeke Campbell, NTMWD Assistant Deputy for Water Treatment and Conveyance. "Our treatment processes are among the best and most highly effective available to ensure the communities we serve have safe, reliable drinking water."

Disinfection is a critical part of the water treatment process that keeps drinking water free of harmful microorganisms, such as parasites and viruses. NTMWDs water treatment plants use a two-step disinfection process where the water is treated, and then chloramine disinfectant (chlorine + ammonia) is added to maintain the water quality as it journeys through miles of pipes to homes and businesses. During the temporary change, NTMWD suspends adding ammonia and uses chlorine only to keep the water disinfected. This temporary change helps prepare the pipes for summer when hotter temperatures can increase the potential for bacterial growth.

"This routine, temporary change in water disinfectant is critical to maintaining the right conditions inside our pipelines and water quality year-round," continued Campbell. "This common system maintenance practice does not increase the amount of chlorine, and the water remains safe to drink. Our water continues to meet or surpass safe drinking water standards."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this temporary conversion is a common practice for many water providers using chloramines for disinfection. NTMWD follows the specified guidelines set forth by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on how public water systems disinfect drinking water.

The absence of ammonia during these few weeks may make the chlorine disinfectant more noticeable to some people. Simple steps to minimize taste, odor, or skin sensitivities include placing a pitcher of water in the refrigerator overnight or adding a slice of citrus to the water. Adding a crushed 1000 mg Vitamin C tablet to bath water will neutralize the chlorine.

NTMWD has conducted the temporary change in water disinfectant for over fifteen years and continues to meet safe drinking water standards, earning recognition from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as a Superior Public Water System.

During the change, the communities served by NTMWD may help move the chlorine-disinfected water through the system faster by flushing water from fire hydrants. The combination of converting to chlorine disinfectant and flushing the pipes helps maintain the system and safe water year-round.

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/. The TCEQ also conducts routine sampling and testing in NTMWD and city distribution systems through an independent laboratory to confirm water quality compliance with state and federal standards.

NTMWD has posted resources at www.NTMWD.com/SafeWater, including fact sheets, frequently asked questions, infographics, videos, and guidelines for questions about water quality. NTMWD also recommends that customers review the water quality information on their city or utility websites.