Why does my water smell like chlorine?

The district occasionally receives calls from customers asking why the water smells like chlorine.  The reason chlorine is added to a water supply is very basic, the level to which people notice the smell is very diverse.

The addition of chlorine to a water supply began in the early 20th century.  At the time it was first introduced, water borne diseases in this country such as typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis were the primary cause of death to most Americans.  The introduction of chlorine to a water supply had a remarkable effect of extending the longevity of human life.  It is one of the greatest discoveries in the development of the human race.

Chlorine continues to be used today to be certain disease is not spread by the water supply.  The District adds chlorine to the water supply at each plant.

Chlorine does impart an odor in the water which some people find undesirable.  One means of reducing the chlorine odor from the tap water is to fill a container and leave the top off.  Chlorine will dissipate from the water if left open to the atmosphere.  Keeping a pitcher of water in the refrigerator at all times will ensure access to a cold and relatively odor free source of water.  You can obtain 100 gallons of District water for about $0.50.  It costs much more than that for only 1 gallon of bottled water.

There are devices sold at retail stores which remove chlorine from water at the kitchen sink.  They do work, but, come with a cost.  It is best to try the pitcher of water suggestion above before spending money on any device or buying bottled water. Save your money and drink plenty of tap water.