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Chlorine Taste and Odor in Water

February 4, 2022 | Bureau of Water Department of Public Works

Some water customers in east, southeast and northeast areas of the City’s water distribution system may notice a chlorine taste or odor in their drinking water. This taste and odor are due to the heavy rainfall and road salt that has run off into the Conestoga River from storm that started on Thursday, February 3. While the taste or odor may be unpleasant, your water is safe to drink and is meeting all regulatory guidelines.

Because of the runoff, the conditions in the Conestoga River have created a higher demand for the chlorine needed to maintain disinfectant levels. In cold weather, chlorine does not dissipate as much in the distribution system as it does during warmer weather, resulting in higher chlorine levels. Chlorine can cause taste and odor issues but is necessary to disinfect the water.

The chlorine residual levels that are leaving the water plant are well below Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection maximum allowed levels. The City’s water plants continuously monitor chlorine levels, using both in-line monitoring equipment and hourly tests by operators. The water is also tested throughout the distribution system, at various locations, to ensure that chlorine levels are safe and effective.

Your drinking water is safe and meets all USEPA and PADEP regulations. If you have any questions, please call the Water Quality Lab at (717) 291-4818, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.