Tap Water Change Coming on Monday

by ARLnow.com March 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm 6,828 35 Comments

On Monday the taste of your tap water may be changing as the Washington Aqueduct conducts its annual “spring cleaning.”

Residents may notice a distinct “chlorine” taste and smell in the water for the next seven weeks. Local water authorities issued the following press release about the change:

From March 26 through May 7, 2012, 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 drinking water — including water disinfection — 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 with a health care provider on the use of tap water.

During this time, individuals may notice a 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.


    Thanks for the “heads up”. FREDTERP

  • Juan

    Why in the World are putting Flouride in our water? this is Poison

    • Gen. Jack D. Ripper

      Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.

      • P.O.E.

        It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.

        • DarkHeart

          Sterling Hayden had one heck of a life.

        • drax

          Guys, is the chlorine Communist too?

    • drax

      I guess you don’t brush your teeth either, huh Juan?

    • CourthouseChris
  • Brian K

    The water never tastes good in DC/ARL …. in fact, I even use bottled water to brush my teeth. Def healthier … and flame all you want

    • CrystalMikey

      I will flame. I love the tap water here, but it does depend on your pipes. I lived and worked on the same block in Crystal City and while the water was great at my apartment building, it had a metallic taste in the building I worked at. I moved to the Courthouse area recently and still drink straight from the tap. In fact, my old Brita water filter pitcher, is literally just a pitcher…w/o a filter.

      • FrenchyB

        +1. I’m pretty happy with the tap water here too, though I usually let it sit for a little while while they’re chlorinating it.

      • AllenB

        I agree. The water is great here.

      • dk

        Yep. Love Arlington water. Of course, having lived in DC for years, I’m a fan of any water system that’s not going to threaten me or my children with lead poisoning.

    • CourthouseChris

      In parts of Texas, the tap water would be flaming you.


      Arlington, VA water – not so bad.

      Arlington, TX water – perhaps not.

      • Josh S

        It ain’t just Texas.

    • BlueSkies

      Healthier because…it came from some other city’s tap? Or because the label doesn’t say what’s really in it? Don’t let ’em fool you, man!

      • drax

        All bottled water comes from pure glacier meltwater high in the Andes, carried down to us by barefoot virgins riding unicorns.

        • Paul

          Actually, because their feet get cold and they are riding the virgins wear alpaca boots.

          • drax

            Wondering how you know such detail about water-bearing virgins.

  • Zach


    This is the worst time of the year. The chlorination is so strong that I usually develop a sore throat after a shower or two that persists for weeks. Not to mention that tap water becomes totally undrinkable.

    I’ve never encountered this annual period of intense chlorination anywhere else I’ve lived.

    • DarkHeart

      You drink water from the shower head?

      • nom de guerre

        I’m guessing the sore throat is from inhaling the chlorine fumes/smell coming from the water. But who knows, maybe he does drink from the shower head. Dogs have been known to drink from the toilet.

    • drax

      How do pools affect you, Zach?

  • NrNy2ArlVa

    Oh how I miss my New York Tap Water 🙁

  • Chloris Leachman

    Folks, FYI: If you let the water sit out for a while, the chlorine will evaporate.

    • FrenchyB

      +1. You were awesome in ‘Beerfest’.

    • When you take a shower – you can’t let it sit to use it. I don’t want chlorine, fluoride, or chloramine in my water. It could safely be disinfected with iodine. but that’s my humble opinion.

      • Josh S

        Back to school for you.

  • David

    Tap water is so much better for you than bottled water. For one the bottled water industry is not regulated nearly as much as tap water. Two, most bottled water is tap water. Bottled water companies are not yet required to list what goes in their water. Plastic from single use water bottles is a major pollutant, plastic sucks! Flouride is good for the teeth.

  • zzzSleeper

    For drinking water, I just let the water sit out for a day. As for showering, I get a sore throat from it also.

    • thelevyisdry

      When I first moved to Arlington a few years ago this ‘spring cleaning’ prompted us to install an Aquasana filter/showerhead because it was so bad. That did the trick.

      • drax

        And…problem solved.

  • Bob

    Oh no, I won’t get my daily vaccination.

  • Goldfish


  • Alex

    There are shower filters available that remove chlorine/chloramine from the water. This eliminates the gas you would inhale, and also reduces the drying effect the water has on one’s skin.

    Tap water filters are also available to remove chlorine/chloramine and other impurities, but in order to remove fluoride one has to either have a distilling or reverse osmosis filter.


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