Smelly Drinking Water? Annual Disinfection Begins Monday for Millions in DFW

The cleaning process runs March 4 through April 1

The tap water in some North Texas cities may smell and taste a little unusual this week.

The North Texas Municipal Water District said its annual cleaning process may make tap water smell and taste like chlorine for the next few weeks.

NTMWD provides water service for 1.7 million people across 10 counties, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall.

The City of Garland, one of the cities serviced by the NTMWD, advised people not to worry about the stronger chlorine odor coming from faucets, saying "the water is perfectly safe" and is part of the normal and temporary disinfection protocol used every year.

"Disinfection is a critical part of water treatment to keep water safe," the NTMWD said in a news release. "It involves a two-step process that first treats the water at the plant and second adds disinfectant to maintain water quality as it travels long distances through pipes to homes and businesses. Both steps are needed to keep tap water free of harmful microorganisms, such as parasites and viruses."

The process has drawn controversy, with some comparing the smell and taste of drinking water to chlorinated pool water.

"I tell my kids not to drink the pool water and here I am, and they're like, 'Why does this smell like the pool?'" Angela Groves, who lives in Murphy, told NBC 5. Hundreds shared similar concerns at a speech last year in Frisco by activist Erin Brockovich.

"NTMWD has been doing this for over 10 years, and high water quality has always been maintained," the district said, also noting that cities in its service area may open fire hydrants to help flush out the chlorine disinfectant.

The process is planned for March 4 through April 1.

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