Water contamination news: Why D.C. area tap water may taste, smell different – chloramines added – which is chlorine with ammonia.

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Water contamination news:

Why D.C. area tap water may taste, smell different.

Save the Water™ does not represent or endorse the postings herein or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information furnished by the author.
Monday – 3/26/2012, 1:43pm ET

water contamination

It’s not your sink – tap water in the Washington area will likely taste different over the next few weeks, according to the Washington Aqueduct.
(courtesy dhs.gov)
Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Tap water will likely smell and taste slightly different for the next six weeks in Washington, Arlington County, the city of Falls Church, and parts of Fairfax County.

“This is spring cleaning for the water distribution system,” says Patty Gamby, deputy general manager with the Washington Aqueduct.

For most of the year, the disinfectant for drinking water treatment is chloramines, which is chlorine with ammonia added.

“This morning, at 3 a.m. we turned off the ammonia,” Gamby says. “Standing here next to ammonia feed pumps, and everything is eerily quiet down there.”

The yearly temporary change is designed to help clean water pipes.

While the drinking water remains healthy, “unfortunately people probably will tell the difference,” Gamby says.

“People may notice a slightly more chlorinous taste and smell,” Gamby says.

Several other jurisdictions do similar flushing each spring.

The process will revert to chloramines in six weeks.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

Neal Augenstein

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Ever since 1997, when Neal Augenstein kept nudging the then-news director to hire him as a part-time weekend reporter, he’s had the great pleasure of being a reporter for WTOP.

Things have changed in many ways. When he walked in the door, the newsroom was still equipped with reel-to-reel tape recorders, and the portable bag phones that weighed as much as a bowling ball. Today, Neal is the first major market radio reporter who does most of his field production on an iPhone.

Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the Washington community – including the Beltway Snipers, Chandra Levy, and of course, Sept. 11, 2001. But ironically, listeners seem to remember the lifestyle and feature reports – cooking food on the dashboard of his car in 100 degree weather, butt-lifting underwear and pole dancing for guys.

Neal’s been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports. However, he’s most proud when people he reports about tell him they believe his reporting is accurate, fair and in context.

Neal’s ultimate honor is having listeners trust him and the WTOP team, to provide information they need and enjoy in their life.

You can email Neal at naugenstein@wtop.com or follow him on Twitter @AugensteinWTOP.

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