3rd Sign of Spring – Your Drinking Water and Shower may Smell Like a Pool Soon

Photo by PoPville flickr user Tyrannous

Every year around this time we get ‘Dear PoPville’ emails asking about water/shower tasting/smelling like chlorine. You’re not losing it! From DC Water:

From March 17 through April 28, 2014, the disinfectant in drinking water will temporarily switch from chloramine to chlorine.

The annual switch in water disinfection is part of a routine program to clean and maintain drinking water systems in the District of Columbia, Arlington County and the northeastern portion of Fairfax County. During the temporary switch to chlorine, local water authorities will also conduct system-wide flushing to enhance water quality. This program is a common practice for many U.S. water systems that use chloramine during the majority of the year.

The Washington Aqueduct is the organization responsible for treating and disinfecting drinking water for its wholesale customers: DC Water, Arlington County, and Fairfax Water. Local water authorities are responsible for monitoring drinking water to ensure chlorine levels continue to meet safe target levels.

Individuals and business owners who take special precautions to remove chloramine 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 chloramine from tap water are effective in removing chlorine. Individuals with special health concerns should consult a health care provider on the use of tap water.

During this time, individuals may notice a slight change in the taste and smell of their drinking water. Local water authorities recommend running the cold water tap for approximately two minutes and refrigerating tap water to reduce the chlorine taste and odor. Water filters are also effective for reducing chlorine taste and odor. For more information, please contact the appropriate water authority.”

9 Comment

  • What a great picture for this entry! I chuckled audibly.

    Another effect of the chlorine (which might affect like ONE other person here)– if your kid likes those color tablets for their bath, they won’t work in chlorinated water. Switch to bubbles. 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Such a cute pooch!

  • Weird. I thought my water smelled like chlorine this morning, but they aren’t starting until March 17. Maybe I am losing it.

  • Call me crazy but I’ve been smelling chlorine for weeks….

    • I swear I have too.

      • Same here, and when I used some of the water to clear a sinus problem, I ended up with a smell of chlorine that lasted for hours. It was like I’d been in the pool all day. Meanwhile, I’ve been itchy from chlorine in the shower, and my girlfriend is getting eczema. The water has not seemed right since we got that bout of single-digit temperatures. I can’t detect any leaks coming from my house or property, but I’ve noticed that the water pressure, while within the normal range, seems a little less than it was before. It’s gotten to the point where I want to have it independently tested. I don’t feel like the city is being honest with us.

  • That dog is awesome!!!! Cutie!

  • PSA: my former roommate swore that her skin was sensitive to the chlorine and she bought a filter for our showerhead – I had no idea such things existed but apparently they’re relatively cheap and easy to install.

  • Thats my pup…although he is much older and grumpier than he is in this picture.

    Also still hates baths chlorine filled and non.

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