The City of Midland’s Water and Wastewater Department will conduct its annual chlorine flush beginning June 1. This preventative measure will ensure continued safe drinking water by temporarily changing the method used to disinfect the water supply.
Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is normally used as a disinfectant to remove possible bacteria and viruses from water supplies in Midland and many other cities across the nation. During a period of approximately 30 days, the City will use only chlorine to disinfect the water supply.
“Free” chlorine is a more powerful disinfectant, and this temporary change in the water treatment process denies bacteria the ability to form resistances to the usual disinfection treatment process. This may cause the water to have a chemical odor or smell, slightly like water in a swimming pool. Some residents may detect no change at all.
Both forms of chlorinated water are safe for people and animals to drink, cooking and bathing, watering the garden, and all other common uses. Still, chlorine can be removed by boiling water or using treatment devices to reduce chlorine levels. Letting water sit for 20 minutes after dispensing also allows the chlorine to dissipate.
The City is required to send notification of this change to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which suggests the free chlorine method for maintaining adequate chlorine residuals throughout the distribution system.
In preparation for, and following the disinfection conversion, fire hydrants in various areas of town will be “flushed” or drained of their existing supply of water. Residents may notice a different method of hydrant flushing this year such as fewer hydrants being drained for longer periods of time. This helps maintain water clarity and quality in our distribution system.
More information is available at www.midlandtexas.gov/watercare.
Media Contact: Elana Ladd (432) 685-7593