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Posted on: September 12, 2023

Water Update: Your Water May Taste or Look Different This Week

Water Update: Your Water May Taste or Look Different This Week as the City Completes the Free Chlorine Conversion Process

This morning (September 12), the City began its transition from free chlorine to chloramines, which is a continuation of the disinfectant process we’ve been undergoing since August 22. You may notice some taste/odor differences in the water this week as the chloramines work their way through the system. If this occurs, run your cold water for 3-5 minutes. If it does not resolve the issue, call 311 and someone will come flush the water line closest to your property. Crews will be methodically flushing to help the chloramines work their way through the system faster, but it may take until approximately September 20 before the entire distribution system is fully completed. The water is safe to consume and use.  

The City is still in drought conditions with mandatory water restrictions at Stage 3. We are hosting a “Pray for Rain” event Wednesday (9/13) in honor of National Day of Prayer. The community is invited to attend the event at City Hall at 10 am.  

What is Happening?  

The City of Beaumont public water system is temporarily converting the disinfectant used in the distribution system from chloramine to free chlorine. The conversion began on August 22, 2023, and continue through approximately September 12, 2023. During this period, you may experience taste and odor changes associated with this type of temporary disinfectant conversion.  

Why Are We Doing This?  

Per the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), our governing body, disinfection is a critical step in treating and maintaining safe drinking water. In Texas, public water systems (PWSs) are required to maintain a disinfectant residual throughout the entire distribution system so that every customer receives safe water.   

All water systems must maintain residuals of either:  

• free chlorine  

• chloramines—specifically monochloramine.  

In areas with warm climates, bacteria grow more quickly and disinfectants, like chloramine, degrade faster. This can lead to nitrification events within distribution system piping. PWSs that use chloramine usually perform periodic, temporary conversions to free chlorine as either a maintenance measure or as a response to nitrification.   

The City of Beaumont has chosen to implement a temporary disinfectant conversion to free chlorine because of rising nitrification levels in the water system. These issues were compounded by issues brought on by the excessive heat and drought.  

What to Expect (Approximate Dates)  

August 22 – August 29 - As we introduce free chlorine to the system and it mixes with the existing chloramines, you may experience water that tastes or smells musty or earthy.   

August 30 – September 12 - You may notice a slight chlorine smell and taste as the free chlorine works its way through the entire water system.   

September 12 – September 20 - You may notice the musty/earthy smell or taste again as the free chlorines work their way out of the system. 

These are all safe and expected effects. If you notice the musty/earthy odor or smells or something different than chlorine, please report it to 311 and crews can come out and flush. This process is happening all over the City, so we ask that citizens be patient as requests are processed as they are received.  

free chlorine conversion


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