Temporary switch to chlorine may change taste of Tampa water

City of Tampa water customers may notice a slight difference in taste and odor to their drinking water this month. The Tampa Water Department is temporarily converting its water disinfection from chloramine to chlorine disinfection.  [National Resources Defense Council]
City of Tampa water customers may notice a slight difference in taste and odor to their drinking water this month. The Tampa Water Department is temporarily converting its water disinfection from chloramine to chlorine disinfection. [National Resources Defense Council]
Published August 1 2018
Updated August 1 2018

TAMPA — City of Tampa water customers may notice a slight difference in the taste and odor of their drinking water this month, as the Tampa Water Department temporarily converts its water disinfection from chloramine to chlorine disinfection.

The temporary conversion, which begins Aug. 6 and ends Aug. 27, is a standard water system maintenance measure.

Its aim is to optimize water quality without the loss of millions of gallons of drinking water, said Elias Franco, water distribution and customer service manger of the Tampa Water Department.

The Water Department will conduct daily testing to monitor water quality, he said. The level of chlorine will be 2.5 to 3.5 milligrams per liter for most customers — one teaspoon of salt is 5,000 milligrams.

This is the same level of chlorine used to treat Tampa’s drinking water for more than 50 years prior to converting to chloramine disinfection in the 1980s, Franco said.

Kidney dialysis patients should not be impacted by the chlorine treatment, Franco said. But he cautioned that people with special health concerns or questions should contact their health care providers.

In addition, people who already have a system in place to remove chloramines from fish tanks or ponds should not be affected.

For more information, contact City of Tampa Utilities at (813) 274-8811, option 3, or visit http://TampaGov.net/watermaintenance.

Contact Tim Fanning at tfanning@tampabay.com. Follow at @TimothyJFanning.

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