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Expect Chlorine Taste, Smell In Tap Water Through March

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NJ American Water says customers may taste chlorine in their water during February, as it temporarily changes its disinfection process.

Township residents may find their tap water tasting a little off during February because the company which supplies Franklin with most of its water will temporarily change its water treatment methods.

NJ American Water, based in Voorhees, announced that starting Feb. 1, it will treat water at its Canal Road water treatment plant with free chlorine, rather than the usual chloramines.

Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia and are widely used in water treatment plants across the country. NJAW has been using chloramines for more than 30 years.

Chloramines are favored over chlorine by water companies, according to literature from NJAW, because they are longer-lasting and they do not create the potentially toxic byproducts created by chlorine when it mixes with organic material.

Those opposed to the use of chloramines say they are respiratory irritants, can cause skin problems and are suspected carcinogens. People using dialysis machines cannot use water disinfected with chloramines in their machines.

NJAW said in a release about the new treatment process that it will monitor “water quality to ensure that it meets or surpasses federal and state drinking water standards.”

Franklin is one of 49 towns in a handful of counties whose water will be affected by the change, according to the release.

NJAW advises those who do not like the chlorine taste to leave a jar of water uncovered overnight in the refrigerator, during which time the taste should dissipate. Customers can also add a few slices of lemon or a few drops of juice to their water to mask the taste.

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