The Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA) will temporarily change its water disinfection process April 12-26, 2021. This annual routine maintenance practice is necessary to maintain water systems operated by GCWA and the Galveston County communities it serves.
The temporary change from a combination of chlorine and ammonia (chloramine) to free chlorine helps to prevent taste and odor problems that can occur during the hottest months of the year. Free chlorine conversions are a common industry practice for preventative maintenance in drinking water distribution & transmission systems. Many utilities throughout the state and country that use chloramines for their primary distribution disinfectant periodically convert back to free chlorine to improve and maintain the highest water quality standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) endorse and support this procedure.
GCWA’s Thomas Mackey Water Treatment Plant provides drinking water to a number of communities throughout Galveston County. All communities except League City, Friendswood, and Bolivar will be included in the chlorine maintenance.
As part of the disinfection process, municipalities and water districts will flush their systems by opening fire hydrants. Water users may notice some water discoloration or cloudiness. These conditions are harmless and temporary and should be remedied by fire hydrant flushing. The chlorine maintenance process has not been linked to any adverse health effects.
A properly conducted Chlorine Maintenance can often cause the water to have a different taste and/or odor than when using chloramine for disinfection. Customers will likely be able to notice the difference, but there are no health effects associated with the change in taste/odor.
WHAT IF MY WATER SMELLS OR LOOKS FUNNY? Water users may notice some water discoloration, cloudiness or chlorine smell during the disinfection period. These conditions are harmless and temporary. The chlorine maintenance process has not been linked to any adverse health effects.
WHEN: April 12-26, 2021
WHO: All Galveston County communities except League City, Friendswood, and Bolivar
Water users can contact their local municipality or water district for questions about the water system disinfection.
ABOUT GULF COAST WATER AUTHORITY: GCWA is a special water district that provides water for industry, agriculture and municipalities in Brazoria, Fort Bend and Galveston counties.
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