Washington Aqueduct Makes Annual Disinfectant Switch | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Washington Aqueduct Makes Annual Disinfectant Switch

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

The Washington Aqueduct, the source of drinking water for much of the area, says customers may notice changes as it makes it's yearly switch of water disinfectants.

As it does every year, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority has been flushing out the pipes since February, in D.C. and parts of Northern Virginia, letting fire hydrants flow onto the streets. It has also switched disinfectants, from the chlorine-nitrogen compound called chloramine to pure chlorine.

"it's a stronger oxidant, to kill any bacteria it may encounter in the distribution system," says Tom Jacobus, head of the Washington Aqueduct.

Jacobus says if chlorine is used over too long a period of time, it can start to make what are called disinfection byproducts, harmful chemicals which the Environmental Protection Agency would rather people not drink. So next week, the Aqueduct is switching back to Chloramine.

Jacobus says customers might notice a change.

"By the end of next week, anybody who had been tasting a bit of chlorine or odor when they shower, that should go away," he says.

Jacobus says aquarium owners will need to use special tablets to remove the chloramine. It's toxic to fish and unlike chlorine, it does not naturally diffuse out of water that's been sitting out for a few days.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 20

You can see a rock musical about a family dealing with mental illness. A local nonprofit celebrates its 20th anniversary with an artsy party.
NPR

Chef Ottolenghi Makes The Case For 'Plenty More' Vegetables

Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi talks with Rachel Martin about the difference between supermarket hummus and Middle Eastern hummus and why he doesn't like to call his cookbooks "vegetarian."
NPR

Turf Shifts In Culture Wars As Support For Gay Marriage Rises

Campaigning against gay marriage used to help Republicans win elections — but now GOP candidates in tight races are backing away from mentioning social issues on the stump.
NPR

Will Apple's Mobile Wallet Replace Your Leather Wallet?

Many have tried and failed with this kind of payment option before. But Apple's launch is bigger, with more financial institutions' support, and consumers may be more security-conscious.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.