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Summer changes to Columbia water disinfectant

You might notice a change in the taste and smell of your drinking water if you live in Columbia. The water treatment plant is switching the disinfectant it uses to clean the water.

It’s a switch from chloramine, which is a chlorine and ammonia combination, to chlorine. Columbia Water and Light said it helps maintain the city’s water infrastructure.

“The Department of Natural Resources suggests that we change to straight chlorine to several months of the year to reduce nitrification. That nitrification can happen when you use the chloramine disinfection method,” said Connie Kacprowicz with Columbia Water and Light.

Nitrification can corrode water pipes. The water treatment plant switches to chlorine during the summer months to cut down on pipe corrosion. Officials said the switch happened Thursday and residents will probably notice a chlorine taste and smell in the water on Friday.

Columbia Water and Light said those sensitive to the taste and smell of chlorine can filter the water or set out a pitcher of water to aerate before drinking.

This fall, the water treatment plant will switch back to chloramine. Officials said, at that point, the smell and taste of chlorine in the water will diminish.

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