Annual Water Line Cleaning Begins March 25

March 15, 2024
Photo shows an adult washing a glass in the sink with the faucet running.

WASHINGTON, DC — DC Water’s network of 1,300 miles of interconnected water lines will undergo annual cleaning starting Monday, March 25. Water service will continue uninterrupted during the process, which runs until May 6 this year. During that time, customers may notice slightly different taste and odor in tap water. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Washington Aqueduct, which supplies water to DC Water, annually performs the temporary disinfectant switch from chloramine to chlorine. The temporary switch ensures that the water mains remain as clean as possible. The Washington Aqueduct continues to add a corrosion inhibitor during the process to maintain water quality standards.

“The annual disinfection switch is just one of the ways we maintain our distribution system and ensure the delivery of exceptional quality drinking water,” said DC Water CEO and General Manager David L. Gadis, “As we do year-round, we will continue to monitor for safe levels of disinfectant for all of DC Water’s valued customers.”

This temporary cleaning process sometimes causes a subtlety noticeable different odor or taste to tap water. Customers should rest assured that, despite this change, the drinking water continues to meet all U.S. EPA criteria for quality. If customers find the temporary changes in taste and/or odor objectionable, they may run their cold water tap for about two minutes and use a standard water filter. Alternately, they may fill a pitcher with tap water and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours to reduce the chlorine taste and odor.

Customers who take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water should continue such methods during the temporary switch to chlorine disinfectant. As always, those with special concerns should consult their health care provider.

For more information, please visit dcwater.com/chlorine-switch.

DC Water customers can also call202-612-3440 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) or 202-612-3400 (24-hour).

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Photo shows an adult washing a glass in the sink with the faucet running.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Washington Aqueduct, which supplies water to DC Water, annually performs a temporary disinfectant switch from chloramine to chlorine. This year, the switch runs from March 25 to May 6. During that time, customers may notice temporary minor changes in taste and odor.

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