Spring Cleaning For DC Water Pipes Begins March 20

March 20, 2017

From March 20 through April 17, 2017, the disinfectant in drinking water that DC Water provides to its 681,000 customers will temporarily switch from chloramine to chlorine. The annual spring-time switch in water disinfection is part of a routine program to clean and maintain drinking water systems in the District of Columbia.
DC Water purchases treated drinking water from the Washington Aqueduct and distributes it to homes and businesses in the city. Each spring, the Aqueduct switches disinfectants from chloramine to chlorine to improve water quality. This program is a common practice for many U.S. water systems that use chloramine during the majority of the year.

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 a health care provider on the use of tap water.  
During this time, individuals may notice a slight 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 tap water to reduce the chlorine taste and odor. Water filters are also effective for reducing chlorine taste and odor. For more information, please contact the appropriate water authority.

The Washington Aqueduct provides water from the Potomac River to DC Water, Arlington County, and Fairfax Water. Those jurisdictions will also switch from chloramine to chlorine from March 20 to April 17. DC Water and other local water authorities will continue to monitor drinking water to ensure chlorine levels meet safe target levels. The Washington Aqueduct continues to add a corrosion control inhibitor during this temporary switch to prevent lead release.

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