Annual water maintenance period begins on March 1
MELISSA (February 24, 2021) Starting on March 1, and continuing for most of the month, Melissa residents may detect a change in the taste and smell of their water, and while the quality and purity does not diminish, there are ways to minimize the alteration in the taste and smell.
The change is a result of the annual system maintenance procedure undertaken by the City’s water supplier, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), according to Jeff Cartwright, Melissa’s Public Works Director.
During this period, people with heightened senses can counter the smell and taste in several ways. Placing a pitcher of water in the refrigerator overnight or adding a slice of citrus to the water will minimize the taste and odor alteration. Adding a crushed 1,000 mg vitamin C tablet will neutralize the chlorine from bath water, making it undetectable.
“This is the time of year that the NTMWD conducts the annual system maintenance,” says Cartwright. “Here in Melissa, the effect may not be as pronounced as in other communities served by the water supplier because we blend water from the district with water from the former Country Ridge Water System.”
Melissa is among the area’s cities and towns that purchase most of their water from the North Texas Municipal Water District, then blends it with water from wells. The blending can serve to mitigate the altered taste and smell of water purchased from NTMWD.
The altered taste and smell are 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 NTMWD 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 monthlong chlorine maintenance period, on March 29, the taste and smell will return to normal,” added Cartwright.
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/.