Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the City of Midland announcing?
A: That the Water and Wastewater Department will temporarily change the method used to disinfect our water supply.
Q: Does the conversion process pose a health threat? Is the water safe to drink and use?
A: The process is safe and residents may continue to drink and use their water as normal.
Q: Will I need to do anything differently during the conversion?
A: No action is necessary during the conversion. Residents may drink and use their water as normal.
Q: Why is this conversion being done?
A: Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is normally used as a disinfectant to remove possible bacteria and viruses from water supplies in Midland and many other cities across the nation. During a period of approximately 30 days, the City will use only chlorine to disinfect the water supply. “Free” chlorine is a more powerful disinfectant, and this temporary change in the water treatment process denies bacteria the ability to form resistances to the usual disinfection treatment process.
Q: How long will the conversion last?
A: Approximately four weeks during the month of June.
Q: Why is it being done now? Is this the first time The City has done a conversion?
A: This is done on an annual basis with the approval of TCEQ.
Q: Do other cities perform a conversion?
A: Yes. This is a common industry practice. Many utilities throughout the state and country that use chloramines as a distribution system disinfectant convert to free chlorine annually.
Q: How will it affect kidney dialysis procedures?
A: The processes already in place to remove chloramines in the water will remove free chlorine. No change or adjustment should be needed. However, check with your equipment supplier. Kidney dialysis centers have been notified.
Q: I have a fish tank. How will it affect my fish?
A: The processes already in place to remove chloramines in the water will remove free chlorine. No change or adjustment should be needed. However, check with your equipment supplier.
Q: Is there a way to reduce or remove the chlorine taste and smell during this period?
A: Yes. A carbon filter is effective at removing free chlorine taste and smell, as well as chloramines. If you have an existing carbon filter on your faucet, reverse-osmosis system or cartridge under the sink, these should remove any additional taste and odor during this period. These are available at local retail stores. Some are inexpensive and easy to install. Additional options are boiling the water, adding lemon juice, or allowing water to sit for 20 minutes before use.
Q: Will the chlorine bleach my clothes?
A: No, however if you use chlorine bleach or a chlorine bleach substitute when doing laundry you may wish to reduce the amount used to be gentler on fabrics.
Q: Is there anything I will notice during the conversion?
A: You may notice a slight chlorine taste and smell to the water during this four-week period. This is normal and does not pose a health risk.
Q: Why are you opening up fire hydrants?
A: In preparation for, and following the disinfection conversion, fire hydrants in various areas of town will be “flushed” or drained of their existing supply of water. Residents may notice a different method of hydrant flushing this year such as fewer hydrants being drained for longer periods of time. This is a necessary part of the treatment process that helps maintain water clarity and quality in our distribution system.
Q: Who can I contact with additional questions or concerns?
A: Please contact the Water and Wastewater Utilities Department listed above.