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Chlorine Taste, Smell May Soon Temporarily Increase In Tap Water

american water-logoTownship residents may notice a change in the taste ad smell of their drinking water starting later this month, as New Jersey American Water temporarily switches its water treatment process.

The company will change from using chloramine to using free chlorine to treat water at several plants, including the Canal Road Water Treatment Plant in Somerset, from about Jan. 21 through March, according to a statement from American Water.

Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, and is seen as a less expensive way to treat water. The process also has its detractors, who say it can lead to everything from rusty pipes to disease.

The company said in the release that customers may notice a change in the smell and taste of drinking water during the time chlorine is used. The company said the water is still safe to drink, and offered these tips to reduce the chlorine taste/smell:

  • Place water in a glass container in the refrigerator overnight uncovered. This will allow the chlorine to dissipate at a faster pace.
  • Bring your water to a rolling boil for five minutes and allow the water to cool.
  • This should reduce the chlorine taste and smell in the water.
  • Add a lemon slice or a few drops of lemon juice to a glass of drinking water.

American Water spokesman Richard Barnes said the change is “a normal operation process that we do every year in early January.”

The change will affect customers in six counties, including Somerset.

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