Beginning March 8 and running through March 29, the Tampa Water Department (TWD) is temporarily changing its water disinfection process from chloramine to chlorine to disinfect the water distributed to all TWD customers.

If you get your water from the TWD, you might notice a slight change in what you are tasting and smelling coming out of our faucets the next three weeks. However, chances are you won’t.

Your water is safe to drink and does not need to be boiled, according to the TWD. Customers who are sensitive to chlorine may notice. If so, it is recommended you run the tap for a few minutes before using, fill a pitcher of water and let it sit for a few hours to allow any residual chlorine to evaporate or consider installing a carbon filter on your faucets or replace existing filters with new ones.

The TWD uses chloramine (ammonia added to chlorine) to disinfect the water, but as a sustainable alternative to losing millions of gallons of drinking water by flushing the system, at least twice a year for three-week periods it switches to chlorine disinfection, which is stronger. TWD says the temporary change kills bacteria and ensures the water remains safe to drink as it travels through the water mains and service lines. 

“We work closely with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) to ensure that we comply with EPA guidelines for using chlorine and chloramine to disinfect Tampa’s drinking water,” it says on the TWD website.

Those who already take special steps to remove chloramine from tap water, such as dialysis centers, medical facilities and aquatic pet owners, should take the same precautions during the temporary switch to chlorine, says TWD.

For more information, contact City of Tampa Utilities at (813) 274-8811, Option 2, or visit tampa.gov/ChlorineDisinfection.

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