PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) - Pflugerville neighbors may be noticing a weird taste and smell in their water.
The city will be treating the water system with chlorine as part of a routine checkup to keep the city's water from discoloration, odor and taste. It's called a "chlorine burnout" and will start Monday, going through July 17.
"The city is dedicated to providing the best quality water we can," said Public Works Director James Wills. "During this chlorine burnout, we will perform a chlorine shock and extensive directional flushing to the system to help remove any iron, manganese or other constituents in the water mains. When we finish, the water quality will be substantially better than before, and the program will save money, keep operational costs down and provide a higher-quality product."
There are no health risks associated with the process, but there may be times of low water pressure. In addition, there may be a smell, taste or small rust particles in the water as the city tries to flush them out from the mains with directional flushing.
Still, an odd smell or taste in your water does not mean it is unsafe to drink. Odors are caused by the free chlorine disinfectant cleaning the system, but the smell will go away as soon at the work is complete.
Anyone with questions can call Wiley Webb at 512-990-6402 or the City of Pflugerville Public Works Department at 512-990-6400 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also visit the website.
In-Depth: About the discoloration process
There are times that water is discolored to a yellow, orange or even brownish color due to cast iron or steel water mains, private plumbing or, at times, manganese.
Manganese, which is naturally present in water sources, can increase over timeand attach to pipes and release when there are changes in pressure -- resulting in discoloration or affected taste. Manganese is not harmful at the levels currently found, but it can be a nuisance by discoloring the water.
Over time, manganese will attach itself to the pipes and release when there are extreme changes in the velocity or pressure similar to when there is a main break or during annual fire department testing of the hydrants.
Nitrification, a microbial process that converts ammonia and similar nitrogen compounds into nitrite and then nitrate, can also happen in water systems that use chloramine for their residual disinfectant.
The burnout is a change in the treatment process from chloramines to free chlorine. Free chlorine is the disinfectant of choice when performing a systemwide maintenance flush.
It will help the city cleanse the lines, stop nitrification and ensure that the water continues to be safe to drink.
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