Each year, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) conducts chlorine maintenance on its water transmission system and customer cities’ distribution systems for a 28-day period. As a member city, Mesquite receives its water from NTMWD.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) allows water suppliers to perform chlorine maintenance in order to maintain proper chloramine levels (required by the TCEQ) during the warm weather periods, thus conserving water.
Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is used to disinfect water. Disinfection is a critical part of water treatment to keep water safe. It involves a two-step process that treats the water, then adds disinfectant to maintain water quality as it travels long distances through pipes to homes and businesses. Both steps are needed to eliminate and keep tap water free of harmful microorganisms, such as parasites and viruses.
Each spring the NTMWD suspends the use of ammonia to allow the remaining chlorine to keep the water disinfected as it travels through the system. This temporary change in disinfectant helps maintain the system and high water quality year round. It’s important to do this before summer because hotter temperatures can increase the potential for bacterial growth in pipes.
Chlorine maintenance does not affect water quality, and the water remains safe for use. Consumers who are sensitive to taste and odor changes in drinking water might notice a slight change during this period, however this palatability change does not alter the quality of the drinking water.