For the next month, some residents may notice a slight change in the taste and color of their drinking water.
This is the time of year when Triangle public water systems temporarily change the way they disinfect their water to satisfy a state rule designed to maintain water quality.
Customers might notice some discoloration or odor but the water remains safe for drinking, cooking and bathing, city officials say. One tip to keep in mind: Wait until the discoloration goes away before washing white clothes.
The state requires all water systems with the chlorine/ammonia process to cleanse their systems annually by switching to free chlorine and flushing their pipes. The temporary change wards against bacteria that may have adapted to the ammonia in the water.
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During the one-month period, which started Friday and runs through April 6, the city “flushes” the water distribution system to hasten the change of chloramines to chlorine residual disinfectant.
People who use water for kidney dialysis machines or fish aquariums and ponds, or who may have any other chlorine sensitivities should take precautions and filter their water because it will contain more chlorine than usual during these weeks.
The change applies to Raleigh and communities that buy water from the city, including Rolesville, Garner, Knightdale, Holly Springs, Wendell, Wake Forest, Zebulon and Fuquay-Varina.
As in past years, Raleigh, the water provider in Orange County and several other utilities in the region have picked March or a similar period for chlorine disinfection.
Staff writer Caitlin Baker contributed to this story.