Monday, March 11, 2013

Water system cleaning starting March 18, you may notice a funky smell

Starting this March 18, DC Water is going to change how they're cleaning the city's tap water. You may notice a change in smell and taste, which you can filter or run for a couple of minutes. Here's more info from DC Water below, and here's the link to frequently asked questions about the switch.
3/11/13 -- Spring Cleaning the Water Distribution System

From March 18 through April 29, 2013, the disinfectant in drinking water will temporarily switch from chloramine to chlorine.

The annual switch in water disinfection is part of a routine program to clean and maintain water distribution systems in the District of Columbia, Arlington County and Falls Church. During the temporary switch to chlorine, local water authorities will also conduct system-wide flushing to enhance water quality. This program is standard practice for many U.S. water systems that use chloramine during the majority of the year.

The Washington Aqueduct is the organization responsible for treating – and disinfecting – drinking water for the District of Columbia, Arlington County, and Falls Church, Virginia. Local water authorities are responsible for monitoring drinking water to ensure chlorine levels continue to meet safe target levels.

Individuals and business owners who take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water, such as dialysis centers, medical facilities and aquatic pet owners, should continue to take the same precautions during the temporary switch to chlorine. Most methods for removing chloramine from tap water are effective in removing chlorine. Individuals with special health concerns should consult a health care provider on the use of tap water.

During this time, individuals may notice a slight change in the taste and smell of their drinking water. Local water authorities recommend running the cold water tap for approximately two minutes and refrigerating cold tap water for a few hours to reduce taste and odor. Water filters are also effective in reducing chlorine taste and odor. For more information, please contact the appropriate water authority below.

DC Water: 202-612-3440 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) or 202-612-3400 (24-hour) /

Arlington County: 703-228-6570 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) or 703-228-6555 (24-hour)

Falls Church City: 703-248-5071 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) or 703-248-5044 (24-hour)

Washington Aqueduct: 202-764-2753 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

You can view this News Release at


  1. Ah, the annual water treatment. This actually happens every year! It's not too bad if you have a faucet filter. After a couple weeks we don't notice a thing.

  2. WASA states, “You may notice a change in smell and taste, which you can filter or run for a couple of minutes.

    WASA must give the D.C. customer a discount during the period of their spring cleansing of the underground pipes. It is money down the drain when customers must run water for minutes to clear their faucet lines, and the cause for this is not their (customer) own.

    What do you say…City Council..Mayor Gray?

    Calvin H. Gurley


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