Your water may smell, taste different during ‘purification’ process in some Bell County cities in February

The free chlorine will be used once the ammonia is removed from the water, to maintain cleanliness.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:46 PM CST
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - Starting Feb. 1, the Bell County Water Control & Improvement District No. 1 will start a water treatment process that involves removing certain disinfectants found in the water, soloing out any unwanted bacteria, and adding fresh disinfectants to keep the water clean.

Disinfection is a critical part of the process that keeps drinking water free of harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses.

“It’s harmless to human beings but that bacteria basically eats and grows through eating ammonia,” said Steve Kana, Director of Water and Sewer Utilities for the City of Killeen.

Ammonia is a disinfectant found in water supply, that also attracts bacteria. By removing the ammonia, the bacteria in the supply begin to starve and die.

“They’re just changing the purification process of the water,” said Paul Romer, Director of Communication for the City of Belton.

Before fresh ammonia can be added, a free chlorine conversion will take 28 days, lasting the entirety of February.

“After the basically 28 days of this free chlorine conversion, then bcwcid1 will go back to adding ammonia to the chloramines, the regular disinfectant they normally use,” said Kana.

Killeen will do more flushing than normal, to ensure clean water systems.

There isn’t anything you have to do on your end, but you should know, “Your water may smell and taste a little different for about a month,” said Romer.

With the lack of ammonia, you might smell or taste a hint of chlorine in your water, again, not enough to cause any harm.

Free chlorine conversion is a recommended step by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TECQ) to help maintain water quality.

“Just to be able to help keep the water quality in a state that provides everyone healthy and safe water to drink,” said Kana.

This process will affect the cities of Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Belton, Nolanville and the Fort Hood Military Reservation.