North Texas Municipal Water District: Annual water system maintenance planned March 4 – April 1

Temporarily changing the water disinfectant
is essential for clean drinking water

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

“Protecting public health and the safety of our water is a top priority,” said Zeke Campbell, NTMWD deputy deputy for water treatment and transportation. “Our treatment processes are among the best and most effective available to ensure the communities we serve have safe and reliable drinking water.”

Disinfection is an important part of the water treatment process that keeps drinking water free of harmful microorganisms such as parasites and viruses. NTMWD's water treatment plants use a two-step disinfection process that treats water and then infuses it with chloramine disinfectant (chlorine + ammonia) to maintain water quality as it travels through miles of pipes to homes and businesses. During the temporary change, NTMWD will stop adding ammonia and use only chlorine to keep the water disinfected. This temporary change helps prepare pipes for summer, when hotter temperatures can increase the potential for bacterial growth.

“This routine, temporary water disinfectant change is critical to maintaining the proper conditions in our pipelines and water quality year-round,” Campbell continued. “This standard system maintenance practice does not increase the amount of chlorine and the water remains safe to drink. Our water continues to meet or exceed standards for safe drinking water.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this temporary change is a common practice among many water utilities that use chloramines for disinfection. NTMWD follows specific Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) guidelines for disinfection of drinking water in public water systems.

The absence of ammonia during these few weeks may cause the chlorine sanitizer to be more noticeable to some people. Simple steps to minimize taste, smell, or skin sensitivities include placing or adding a jug of water to the refrigerator overnight Add lemon slice to water. Adding a crushed 1000 mg vitamin C tablet to the bath water neutralizes the chlorine.

NTMWD has been implementing the temporary water disinfectant change for over fifteen years and continues to meet safe drinking water standards and has been recognized as a superior public water system by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

During the change, communities served by NTMWD can help move chlorine-disinfected water through the system more quickly by flushing water from fire hydrants. The combination of switching to chlorine disinfectant and flushing the pipes will help maintain the system and clean water year-round.

NTMWD conducts hundreds of tests daily in a federally certified laboratory to ensure water safety. Monthly and annual water quality reports are published online, including the results of tests conducted during annual system maintenance. Customers can view this information at www.NTMWD.com/water-testing/. The TCEQ also conducts routine sampling and testing of NTMWD and city distribution systems through an independent laboratory to confirm compliance with state and federal water quality standards.

NTMWD has published resources at www.NTMWD.com/SafeWater, including fact sheets, frequently asked questions, infographics, videos and guidelines for water quality issues. NTMWD also encourages customers to check water quality information on their city or utility company's websites.

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