Your water may smell and taste different during the “clean up” process in some Bell County towns in February.

BELL COUNTY, TexasKVTH) – Beginning Feb. 1, the Bell County Water Quality Control and Improvement District #1 will begin a water treatment process that includes removing certain disinfectants found in the water, removing unwanted bacteria, and adding fresh disinfectants to keep the water clean.

Disinfection is an important part of the process that protects drinking water from harmful microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.

“It’s harmless to humans, but these bacteria basically feed and multiply by eating ammonia,” said Steve Kahn, director of water and sanitation for the city of Killeen.

Ammonia is a disinfectant found in water that also attracts bacteria. When the ammonia is removed, the bacteria in the source begin to starve and die.

“They’re just changing the water treatment process,” said Paul Romer, public affairs director for the city of Belton.

Before fresh ammonia can be added, the conversion of free chlorine will take 28 days, which will last all of February.

“After 28 days of free chlorine conversion, bcwcid1 will revert to adding ammonia to chloramines, the common disinfectant they routinely use,” Kana said.

The killin will flush more than usual to provide clean water to the system.

For your part, you don’t have to do anything, but you should be aware, “Your water may smell and taste a little different over the course of a month,” Romer said.

With a lack of ammonia, you can smell the chlorine in the water, again, not enough to cause any harm.

Converting free chlorine is a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TECQ) recommended step to maintain water quality.

“Just to be able to maintain water quality at a level where everyone can drink healthy and safe water,” Kana said.

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

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