Residents of Arlington, D.C. and part of Fairfax County will notice a different taste to their tap water today.
The Washington Aqueduct, from which our tap water is pumped across the Potomac and throughout Arlington, is starting its annual spring pipe cleaning today. The seasonal switch in the disinfectant used by the aqueduct will run through May 16.
During that time, residents will likely notice that their water smells and tastes a bit more like a swimming pool. That’s because chlorine will be used as the disinfectant rather than chloramine, which is used during all other times of the year.
The change does not affect water safety, officials say.
More from a recent Arlington County press release:
Arlington County, the District of Columbia and northeastern Fairfax County will clean out their tap water networks starting Monday, March 21, repeating a safe, annual process.
Service will continue uninterrupted during the procedure, which runs through May 16. During that time, drinking water from the tap may taste slightly different but the water is essentially unchanged thanks to the purification process.
Arlington and nearby jurisdictions receive their water from the Washington Aqueduct, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In an industry-standard practice, the Corps temporarily switches its system disinfectant from chloramine to chlorine to help clean pipes and maintain system flow.
The Aqueduct continues to add a corrosion inhibitor during the process to reduce the potential release of lead in regional system pipes.
During the spring cleaning, local water authorities continually monitor drinking water for safe chlorine levels as well as conduct system-wide flushing to enhance water quality. Residents may see open fire hydrants as part of the routine.
What to expect
- This temporary cleaning can bring with it a slightly noticeable chlorine smell and taste to tap water. In response, customers can run the cold water tap for about two minutes before using, employ a filter system or let the water sit in a container for an hour or two to allow the chlorine smell and taste to dissipate.
- Customers who take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water during the rest of the year should continue such methods during the temporary switch to chlorine. As always, those with special concerns should consult their health care provider.
The region’s drinking water continues to meet or exceed all safety standards established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia Department of Health.
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Join the NAACP Arlington Branch, HOME of Virginia, and Equal Rights Center for the 2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference on April 15th to discuss the threats and opportunities to advancing fair housing policy across the state and within Arlington.
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Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 5th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
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