Spring Cleaning for DC's Pipes Begins March 25

March 20, 2019

From March 25 to May 6, the Washington Aqueduct will change the compound used to clean drinking water from chloramine to chlorine. The annual switch is part of a routine program to clean and maintain DC Water’s distribution system.

During this time, crews will also flush hydrants to enhance water quality across the District. This is standard practice for water utilities across the country to ensure high-quality tap water throughout the year.

During the six-week period, some customers may notice a slight change in the taste and smell of their tap water. DC Water recommends a few simple actions to address these temporary changes:

  • Run the cold water tap for two minutes, or for five to 10 minutes when water is not used for several hours.
  • Refrigerate cold tap water in an open pitcher. Within a few hours, the chlorine taste and odor will disappear.
  • Some filters may reduce the chlorine taste and smell.

DC Water and the Washington Aqueduct will continue to treat and monitor tap water to ensure it meets all safe drinking water standards. Individuals and business owners who take special precautions to filter chloramine and chlorine from tap water such as dialysis centers, medical facilities, and aquatic pet owners, should continue to take the same actions.

For more information, visit dcwater.com/chlorine-switch, or call the Drinking Water Division at (202) 612-3440.

For bilingual guides and tips to improve the taste and quality of tap water at home, visit dcwater.com/water-quality-home.