Chlorine Taste and Odor
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Water treatment processes use chlorine to remove bacteria, parasites, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms in source waters and to keep water safe to drink as it travels through distribution systems to customers’ homes and businesses.
Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) uses both the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers as water sources. Elevated levels of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and ammonia in both rivers supplying DMWW treatment facilities are requiring DMWW to use more chlorine in the treatment process in order to properly disinfect the water and keep it safe for drinking. These higher chlorine levels are detectable by some customers. This is primarily affecting DMWW customers served by the L.D. McMullen treatment plant, specifically, Warren Water District, Norwalk, Cumming, Greenbrier, and portions of West Des Moines, Xenia, Clive, Waukee and Urbandale.
While the chlorine taste and odor may be noticeable and unpleasant to some customers, the chlorine levels meet EPA safe drinking water standards and do not pose a risk to customers’ health. DMWW remains committed to keeping your drinking water safe and will continue monitoring rivers and adjusting our treatment process as necessary.
To eliminate the chlorine smell from your water, fill a pitcher of tap water, cover it, and chill in the refrigerator. The smell will naturally dissipate while chilling. Replace this chilled water every 24 hours.
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